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Law & Society Review

Impact factor: 1.828 5-Year impact factor: 1.941 Print ISSN: 0023-9216 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subjects: Sociology, Law

Most recent papers:

  • How Migrations Affect Private Orders: Norms and Practices in the Fishery of Marseille.
    Florian Grisel.
    Law & Society Review. 10 days ago
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 177-202, March 2021. ", "\nThe major aim of this article is to examine how migrations affect private governance, taking as a case study the Prud'homie de pêche, a private order that has governed the fishery of Marseille for the past six centuries. Scholarship generally argues that social norms guarantee the efficiency of private orders and their ability to resist the arrival of newcomers. My data suggest that the Prud'homie has failed to accommodate social changes prompted by migratory flows, not despite but because of its social norms. This paper suggests that social norms are not only powerful tools of governance for private orders, but also forces of inertia that can prevent these orders from accommodating social changes.\n"]
    February 16, 2021   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12529   open full text
  • Contentious Politics in the Courthouse: Law as a Tool for Resisting Authoritarian States in the Middle East.
    Steven D. Schaaf.
    Law & Society Review. 10 days ago
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 139-176, March 2021. ", "\nUnder what conditions will individuals mobilize law to resist states that operate above the law? In authoritarian countries, particularly in the Middle East, law is a weapon the state wields for social control, centralizing power, and legitimation. Authoritarian legal codes are overwhelmingly more deferential to state authority than protective of citizens' rights. Nevertheless, people throughout the Arab world deploy law to contest a broad array of state abuses: land expropriations, unlawful arrests, denials of jobs and welfare, and so on. Using detailed interviews in Jordan and Palestine, I outline a theory of law as a tool for resisting authoritarian state actors. Integrating qualitative insights with survey experiments fielded in Egypt and Jordan, I test this theory and show that aggrieved individuals mobilize law when they expect courts are powerful and attainable allies in contentious politics. My results further demonstrate that judicial independence does not uniformly increase authoritarian publics' willingness to access courts.\n"]
    February 16, 2021   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12527   open full text
  • Unfamiliarity and Procedural Justice: Litigants' Attitudes Toward Civil Justice in Southern China.
    Xin He, Jing Feng.
    Law & Society Review. 10 days ago
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 104-138, March 2021. ", "\nWhile procedural justice has been regarded as a distinct and essential factor shaping litigants' views on civil justice, few studies have focused on China, a country with a unique legal tradition and frequent legal reforms. Drawing on surveys and interviews with litigants in a basic‐level court in Southern China, this study examines attitudes toward the civil justice system. Echoing several existing studies from China, our mixed methods analysis confirms that their views are dominated by outcomes—litigants with favorable outcomes are more likely to be satisfied, while those with unfavorable outcomes are more likely to be dissatisfied. Their unfamiliarity with the operation of the system constitutes a major reason for the dominance of substantive outcomes in their evaluations of the system. Many cannot distinguish between process and outcomes, nor do they feel control over the process. Moreover, they are dissatisfied with the process because it fails to meet their often‐erroneous expectations. Our results do not necessarily challenge the importance of procedural justice, but they do suggest that China may be different. Litigants' perceptions of justice and fairness are situated and shaped by specific contexts.\n"]
    February 16, 2021   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12525   open full text
  • On Shared Suffering: Judicial Intimacy in the Rural Northland.
    Michele Statz.
    Law & Society Review. 10 days ago
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 5-37, March 2021. ", "\nRural state and tribal court judges in the upper US Midwest offer an embodied alternative to prevailing understandings of “access to justice.” Owing to the high density of social acquaintanceship, coupled with the rise in unrepresented litigants and the impossibility of most proposed state access to justice initiatives, what ultimately makes a rural courtroom accessible to parties without counsel is the judge. I draw on over four years of ethnographic fieldwork and an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to illuminate the lived consequences and global implications of judges' responses, which can be read as grassroots‐level creativity, as resistance, or simply as “getting by.”\n"]
    February 16, 2021   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12537   open full text
  • The Role of Place and Sociodemographic Characteristics on the Issuance of Temporary Civil Protection Orders.
    Anne Groggel.
    Law & Society Review. 10 days ago
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 38-69, March 2021. ", "\nCivil protection orders are one of the most widely used legal interventions for intimate partner violence. Every American state has legislation that allows victims to seek legal remedies through protection orders such as preventing abusers from contacting them, requiring perpetrators to stay away from specific locations, and ordering removal of firearms. However, judges do not grant every petition for a protection order. This study analyzed over 1000 civil protection order cases from Nebraska to identify how factors not prescribed in the legal statute contribute to a determination of whether victims receive protection. The results suggest that victims' gender and the counties in which they file influence victims' chances of obtaining a protection order. Male victims, victims with children with their abuser, and married victims are significantly less likely to receive protection orders, even after controlling for the severity, recency, and type of abuse. Both male and female victims who file their cases in metropolitan counties are more likely to receive protection orders than their nonmetropolitan counterparts.\n"]
    February 16, 2021   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12528   open full text
  • American Policing and the Danger Imperative.
    Michael Sierra‐Arévalo.
    Law & Society Review. 10 days ago
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 70-103, March 2021. ", "\nIn spite of long‐term declines in the violent victimization of U.S. police officers, the danger of police work continues to structure police socialization, culture, and behavior. Existing research, though attentive to police behavior and deviance that negatively affects the public, analytically ignores how the danger of policing engenders officer behavior that harms police themselves. Drawing on ethnographic observations and interviews in three U.S. police departments, this article describes how police are informally and formally socialized into the danger imperative—a cultural frame that emphasizes violence and the need for officer safety—and its effect on officer behavior. As a result of perception mediated through the danger imperative, officers engage in policy‐compliant and policy‐deviant behaviors to protect themselves from violence. Unfortunately, policy‐deviant behaviors such as unauthorized highspeed driving and not wearing a seatbelt, though justified in the name of safety, lead to catastrophic car accidents that injure and kill both police and members of the public. This article concludes with discussion of how seemingly mundane policy deviant behaviors are a reflection of assumptions within police culture that undergird police practices that damage public wellbeing and perpetuate boarder inequalities in U.S. policing.\n"]
    February 16, 2021   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12526   open full text
  • The Institutional Hearing Program: A Study of Prison‐Based Immigration Courts in the United States.
    Ingrid Eagly, Steven Shafer.
    Law & Society Review. December 18, 2020
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 4, Page 788-833, December 2020. ", "\nThis article presents the findings of the first research study of the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP), a prison‐based immigration court system run by the U.S. Department of Justice. Although the IHP has existed for four decades, little is publicly known about the program's origin, development, or significance. Based on original analysis of archival records, this study makes three central contributions. First, it traces the origin and growth of the IHP within federal, state, and municipal correctional facilities. Notably, although the IHP began in 1980 as a program to deport Cuban asylum seekers held in civil detention in an Atlanta prison, it now operates to deport noncitizens serving prison sentences in twenty‐three federal prisons, nineteen state prison systems, and a few municipal jails. Second, this article uncovers the crucial role that prison‐based immigration courts have played in shaping the design of carceral institutions around the priorities of an immigration system that primarily targets Latinos for deportation. Third, this article shows how immigration courts embedded in carceral spaces have served as influential, yet overlooked, incubators of changes to immigration law and practice that today apply to all immigration courts, not just the IHP. These findings have important implications for contemporary understandings of the relationship between immigration detention, racialized control of migration, and penal punishment.\n"]
    December 18, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12523   open full text
  • Collective Liminality: The Spillover Effects of Indeterminate Detention on Immigrant Families.
    Mirian G. Martinez‐Aranda.
    Law & Society Review. December 18, 2020
    ["Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 4, Page 755-787, December 2020. ", "\nThis article introduces the concept of collective liminality, a shared condition of heightened threat and uncertainty experienced by immigrant detainees and their families, as they wait, caught between two possible outcomes: their loved one's (temporary or permanent) release into the US or deportation. Drawing on 2 years of ethnographic data collection between 2015 and 2017 that included accompanying families to visitation at three Southern California detention facilities, and in‐depth interviews with former detainees and their relatives, I demonstrate the broader “collateral consequences” that immigration detention inflicts on detainees' loved ones. I find that not only does the detained individual experience liminality, but the detention of a loved one places the family in a state of shared liminality, which is experienced at two levels: material and emotional. These hardships materialize even before the detainees' deportation and can persist even after their release back into the US. This research extends scholarship on the impacts of detention on detainees, and on the consequences of deportation for families. The concept of collective liminality highlights how immigration detention functions as a critical tool of immigrant surveillance, punishment, and exclusion.\n"]
    December 18, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12501   open full text
  • Interpreters of International Economic Law: Corporations and Bureaucrats in Contest over Chile's Nutrition Label.
    Tim Dorlach, Paul Mertenskötter.
    Law & Society Review. August 21, 2020
    ["\nThis article analyzes the everyday interpretive practices of corporations and bureaucrats that shape the meaning and force of international economic law. To understand how common practices such as public consultation submissions, corporate threat letters, and external legal assistance influence regulators' understanding of their “legally available” policy space, we study the contested introduction of a pioneering nutrition labeling regulation in Chile. The transnational food industry powerfully challenged the regulation's legality under World Trade Organization law. But Chilean health bureaucrats, in coordination with segments of the country's legally highly competent economic bureaucracy, effectively defended the legality of their proposed regulatory measure. Drawing on data from freedom‐of‐information requests and in‐depth interviews, the article argues that the outcomes of such interpretive contests are substantially shaped by participants' knowledge of the entitlements created by international economic law and thus by the international legal expertise they have access to. This often but not always puts transnational corporations at an advantage over national regulators in the strategic interpretation of international economic law.\n", "Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 3, Page 571-606, September 2020. "]
    August 21, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12495   open full text
  • Binding Morality and Perceived Harm as Sources of Moral Regulation Law Support Among Political and Religious Conservatives.
    Jasmine R. Silver.
    Law & Society Review. August 21, 2020
    ["\nConservatives—both political and religious—are more likely than liberals to support laws regulating traditional or religious morality. The current study applies a moral psychological framework to argue that the association between conservatism and moral regulation law support can be explained in part by binding morality, or a moral orientation that privileges group needs above individual needs and includes concerns about absolutism, collectivism, and purity. Binding morality may directly promote support for moral regulation laws, which enforce traditional rules, discourage deviance, and require adherence to customs regarding bodily and spiritual purity. Binding morality may also indirectly promote support for moral regulation laws by motivating perceptions that “immoral” behaviors are harmful to innocent victims. I test these hypotheses using three analytic samples drawn from the General Social Survey (N = 3669, 7120, 369). Results show that, as expected, binding morality (especially purity) mediates the effects of political and religious conservatism on laws regulating pornography, marijuana, abortion, and euthanasia. Additional analyses exploring views about pornography show that binding morality (especially collectivism) is associated with perceptions of immorality as harmful, which in turn is associated with support for regulation.\n", "Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 3, Page 680-719, September 2020. "]
    August 21, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12487   open full text
  • Speaking of Justice: A Qualitative Interview Study on Perceived Procedural Justice Among Defendants in Dutch Criminal Cases.
    Lisa F. M. Ansems, Kees van den Bos, Elaine Mak.
    Law & Society Review. August 21, 2020
    ["\nQualitative interviews with one hundred defendants in Dutch criminal cases examine whether perceived procedural justice is a relevant concern for defendants, and, if so, which procedural justice components they refer to. The study provides a point of epistemological departure from the quantitative studies dominating the field, as it assessed which components of procedural justice (if any) respondents put forward themselves rather than asking about predetermined procedural justice components. The large majority of respondents mentioned procedural justice issues themselves, and six components were at the core of their procedural justice perceptions: (1) information on which decisions are based, (2) interpersonal treatment, (3) due consideration, (4) neutrality, (5) voice, and (6) accuracy. Although these procedural justice components largely correspond with the literature, respondents thus mentioned some components more often, and others less often, than the literature would suggest. In particular, neutrality plays an important role in the Dutch legal context examined here.\n", "Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 3, Page 643-679, September 2020. "]
    August 21, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12499   open full text
  • Coping with Precariousness: How Social Insurance Law Shapes Workers' Survival Strategies in Vietnam.
    Tu Phuong Nguyen.
    Law & Society Review. August 21, 2020
    ["\nThis article examines the role of social insurance law in the survival strategies of factory workers in Vietnam, especially when they are faced with pressing family needs and an uncertain future. Despite the official discourse of the law which encourages employees to accumulate social insurance for their pension benefits, workers in this study have considered their social insurance fund as a form of saving and opted to gain early access to it when they are in desperate need of money. Workers understand and use the law in a way that answers to their needs; however, such action simultaneously puts them outside the protection of the law. In workers' daily struggles, law generates a moral tension between rights and needs, and ultimately perpetuates their precarious, vulnerable condition. The article demonstrates how workers' legal consciousness varies according to their perception of their precariousness, a precariousness generated by the fragile nature of their work and underpinned by their traditional familial moral obligations. This research advances our understanding of the way state law in postsocialist regimes informs social action and consciousness in ways that oftentimes contradict the spirit of the law.\n", "Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 3, Page 544-570, September 2020. "]
    August 21, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12497   open full text
  • The Fight to Globalize Labor: Understanding the Role of Activists in the Spread of International Norms.
    Andrew B. Wolf.
    Law & Society Review. August 21, 2020
    ["\nInternational relations scholars have traditionally focused on state‐centered accounts of international legal norm development between nations while sociolegal scholars have focused on Weberian notions of occupational authority. This study advances a constructivist sociolegal approach emphasizing activist action as playing a unique role in shaping international norms. Specifically, this study investigates labor activists' intervention in U.S. bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) to examine why labor activists chose to initiate FTA disputes as a social movement tactic and how strategic interaction with international legal systems has helped them institutionalize and proliferate the International Labor Organizations' core labor standards. Through semi‐structured interviews with legal, union, and government officials, alongside a content analysis of cases filed under the U.S. FTA system, this study shows the role activists played in advancing “globalized” standards in international law. This study finds that activists spread norms through a gradual mechanism of accretion, which focuses on the creation of standards and international legal standing over the individual outcomes of any given case.\n", "Law & Society Review, Volume 54, Issue 3, Page 607-642, September 2020. "]
    August 21, 2020   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12496   open full text
  • Allies Already Poised to Comply: How Social Proximity Affects Lactation at Work Law Compliance.
    Elizabeth A. Hoffmann.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 This study demonstrates how legal compliance may be better achieved when organizations include individuals who will advocate for newly codified rights and related accommodations. To understand compliance with a new law and the rights it confers, this article examines as its case study the Lactation at Work law, which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to mandate basic provisions for employees to express breast milk at work. In particular, this study interviewed those organizational actors who translate the law into the policies affecting workers' daily lives: supervising mangers and human resources personnel. Those studied in this article were “Allies Already:” friends or relatives of breastfeeding workers, or ones themselves, who held pro‐breastfeeding values and understood the complexities of combining lactation and employment. They mobilized within their organization to comply with the law swiftly and fully—often even overcomplying. This article demonstrates how heightened compliance, particularly with new laws, may be achieved even without directly affected actors mobilizing their own rights if allies champion needed accommodations. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 791-822, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12420   open full text
  • From Marx to Market: Lawyers, European Law, and the Contentious Transformation of the Port of Genoa.
    Tommaso Pavone.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 What happens when international courts are asked to tackle local political controversies and their judgments subsequently spark contentious resistance? In the European Union (EU), scholars have posited that the politicization of the often‐liberalizing rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) provokes Euroscepticism and noncompliance. In contrast, I argue that contentious politics may also produce permissive conditions for activist “Eurolawyers” to promote awareness of EU law and mobilize support for liberalization. To unpack this claim, I conduct an intensive case study of perhaps the most explosive controversy in Italy to generate litigation before the ECJ: The 1991 “Port of Genoa” case, where the public monopoly rights of a centuries‐old dockworkers' union were challenged. Leveraging interviews, court and newspaper records, public opinion data, and litigation statistics, I trace how—despite dockworkers' vigorous resistance—a pair of entrepreneurial lawyers liberalized Italy's largest port by combining strategic litigation with a public relations campaign to mobilize a compliance constituency. I conclude with insights the case study offers into the contemporary politics of transnational governance. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 851-888, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12365   open full text
  • Relational Legal Consciousness of U.S. Citizenship: Privilege, Responsibility, Guilt, and Love in Latino Mixed‐Status Families.
    Leisy J. Abrego.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 Based on interviews with 100 members of mixed‐status families in Los Angeles, California, this article analyzes how U.S. citizen children practice and understand citizenship in the context of punitive laws targeting their loved ones. Participants' narratives of citizenship as privilege, responsibility, and guilt reveal that despite normative conceptions of citizenship as a universally equal status, citizenship intersects with key social markers to determine the contours and inequalities of substantive citizenship. Specifically, U.S. citizens in mixed‐status families make sense of their juridical category when they navigate unrealistic aspirations from relatives, maintain silence about undocumented family members' legal status, manage their fear of family separation through deportation, and take on financial and logistical responsibilities prematurely to help relatives. In each of these ways, family proves to be a key site for the social and relational production of citizenship. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 641-670, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12414   open full text
  • Across the Sloping Meadow Floor: An Empirical Analysis of Preremoval Detention of Noncitizens.
    Joan‐Josep Vallbé, Markus González‐Beilfuss, Barak Kalir.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 In many countries, the law permits state authorities to detain noncitizens before deportation. Typically judicial decisions about preremoval detention must be made within a short period of time during which deportable noncitizens are held in police premises, and depending on the country detention may last just one month (e.g., France) or up to 18 months (the Netherlands). While previous research has explored various dimensions of noncitizen detention including the legal procedure, health consequences, the condition of detention centers, and the lives of deportable noncitizens, the empirical assessment of the determinants of decisions on preremoval detention are largely unexplored. Using data from court proceedings of police petitions of detention in Spain and a quantitative strategy, in this article we undertake an empirical analysis of noncitizen detention combining personal background of deportable noncitizens, legal factors of the case, and the behavior of different actors involved in the procedure. To do it, we fit models that take into account variation occurred at judicial district levels. Results indicate, on the one hand, that relevant actors involved in the procedure use different informational cues to decide on cases. On the other hand, the role of prosecutors and attorneys during hearings proves also relevant to predict detention. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 740-763, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12413   open full text
  • Moving Children through Private International Law: Institutions and the Enactment of Ethics.
    Sonja van Wichelen.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 This article examines how the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co‐operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) plays a central role in justifying the institution of legal adoption. The Hague Adoption Convention has often been regarded as a response to the challenges that the “global situation” brings to adoption practice. Based on private international law, the agreement contains protocols and norms to ensure the protection of the child in intercountry adoption. In the article, I propose that the Hague Convention can be understood as a “transparency device”; a complex assemblage working in pursuit of global “good governance.” The device, however, also operates as justification within the institutional domain, allowing adoption agencies to make distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate adoptions. Idemonstrate how the logic of transparency disguises as much as it promises to reveal. While the doctrine's aim is to validate adoptability and combat trafficking, it also helps to mainstream Euro‐American adoption knowledge to other parts of the world. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 671-705, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12412   open full text
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Perceived Minority Police Presence: Examining Perceptions of Criminal Injustice Among Los Angeles Residents.
    Xia Wang, Justin Ready, Garth Davies.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 Although the conventional wisdom holds that increasing the number of minority officers will enhance residents' perceptions of police and the criminal justice system, further systematic investigation of this hypothesis may be needed. Building on the group‐position thesis, the representative bureaucracy theory, and prior research, this study investigates whether perceived minority police presence within residents' neighborhoods affects residents' perceptions of criminal injustice, whether this effect is more pronounced for minority residents and in minority neighborhoods, and whether perceived minority police presence has a stronger effect on perceptions of criminal injustice for minority residents in more integrated and white neighborhoods than minority residents in minority neighborhoods. Analyses of data collected from Los Angeles, CA, show that residents perceive a lower level of criminal injustice when they report that officers in their neighborhoods are not white‐dominated, and this finding is not dependent on the respondent's race/ethnicity or the racial/ethnic composition of the neighborhood. In addition, perceived minority police presence seems to have a weak to no effect on residents' perceptions of criminal injustice for Hispanic communities. We discuss these findings and their implications for theory, research, and policy. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 706-739, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12423   open full text
  • Compensation and Compliance: Sources of Public Acceptance of the U.K. Supreme Court's Brexit Decision.
    Ezequiel Gonzalez‐Ocantos, Elias Dinas.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 The perception that a high court's decision is binding and final is a crucial prerequisite for its ability to settle political conflicts. Under what conditions are citizens more likely to accept controversial judicial rulings? Mass acceptance is determined, in part, by how rulings are framed during public debate. This paper takes a broad view of the strategies and actors that influence the discursive environment surrounding judgments, calling attention to hitherto unexamined determinants of mass acceptance. We theorize that third parties can boost acceptance by pledging compliance, and that courts can moderate opposition by compensating losers. We also look at how populist attacks on judiciaries, common in contemporary democracies, affect acceptance. We test these propositions using a survey experiment conducted in the aftermath of the UK Supreme Court's Brexit decision, the most salient judgment handed down by this court to date. The paper moves the literature on courts and public opinion beyond the United States, and presents evidence backing largely untested assumptions at the heart of models of judicial behavior regarding the benefits of crafting rulings with an eye on the preferences of key audiences. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 889-919, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12421   open full text
  • Adjudicating Executive Privilege: Federal Administrative Agencies and Deliberative Process Privilege Claims in U.S. District Courts.
    Gbemende E. Johnson.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 Government transparency is a key component of democratic accountability. The U.S. Congress and the president have created multiple legislative avenues to facilitate executive branch transparency with the public. However, when the executive branch withholds requested information from the public, the federal judiciary has the power to determine whether agencies must release documents and information to requestors. When enforcing standards of executive branch transparency, judges must balance concerns of executive autonomy and judicial intrusion into administrative decisionmaking. While much judicial scholarship focuses on the decisionmaking on high courts, in the U.S. context, federal district courts play a key role in adjudicating transparency disputes. In this article, I examine case outcomes in disputes involving agency claims of deliberative process privilege over internal agency documents litigated between 1994 and 2004. I find that U.S. federal district courts largely defer to administrative agencies in transparency disputes. However, factors such as agency structure and the congruence between judicial and administrative agency policy preferences influence whether federal judges require executive branch officials to release requested information. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 823-850, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12419   open full text
  • Justice, Emotion, and Belonging: Legal Consciousness in a Taiwanese Family Conflict.
    Hsiao‐Tan Wang.
    Law & Society Review. August 06, 2019
    --- - |2 This case study of a family conflict in Taiwan explores how legal consciousness is emotionally driven, intersubjective, and dependent on relational factors that are deeply connected to an individual's perception of the self–other relationship and affinity therein. As the members of the Lee family negotiated emotionally on issues involving elder care and inheritance, their adoption of law was at times absent, at others influential, but always shaped by certain Chinese concepts such as zìjǐrén (自己人), which constitute the emotional complex of belonging in Taiwan. This cultural patterning identifies a person as included, accepted, and respected by the group and when in conflict, is the driving force behind a disputants' pursuit of an identity that places them on moral high ground as a form of justice. Rather than depending on rational decision making or legal norms, their legal consciousness was determined by the sense of self, rectitude, emotion, and subjectivity. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, Page 764-790, September 2019. '
    August 06, 2019   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12422   open full text
  • Landless and “Childless” in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: High School Students’ Perceptions of Gendered Constitutional Rights.
    Maroyi Mulumeoderhwa.
    Law & Society Review. November 12, 2018
    --- - |2 This study draws on a qualitative study to examine, using the attitudes of high school male and female students, the possibilities for change in current practices concerning women's rights to inherit property and to take the custody of children in the event of divorce. The results show that male participants view their sisters as temporary residents in the family, and believe her inheritance may benefit her husband and her children who do not belong to her father's clan. Therefore, they strongly contest her inheritance right. However, a minority of boys were receptive to certain notions of women's rights and quite ambivalent about the gender status quo. Female participants, on the other hand, perceived the customary laws and patrilineal attitudes as a hindrance for women and girls to claim their inheritance's rights although the Congolese Family Code grants them such a right. Although the law grants both husband and wife this right, socio‐cultural norms and customary law render women victims of violence. Both male and female participants also mentioned that in case of divorce, women are denied child custody. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    November 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12368   open full text
  • Rural Land Registration in Ethiopia: Myths and Realities.
    Mekonnen Firew Ayano.
    Law & Society Review. November 12, 2018
    --- - |2 Rural land registration has frequently been recommended as a step forward for developing countries. Registration is conceived not only as a means of clarifying property rights and promoting land markets, but also as a way to protect the rights of women and other vulnerable groups and prevent environmental degradation. This package of advantages was once associated with the land rights of individuals. However, more recently, customary interests have been recognized as important for social peace and as serving local conceptions of justice. In recognition of these objectives, Ethiopia and some other countries of sub‐Saharan Africa have formally recognized what are often called “customary land rights.” Ethiopia is cited as a model of this approach in a multicultural setting. This paper shows, however, that serious problems associated with rural land registration have not disappeared. Fieldwork evidence from parts of Ethiopia suggests that customary property interests often go unrecognized. It also shows that the bargaining power of smallholder farmers who rent land to commercial farmers is being reduced. Simultaneously, there is an evident shift in decision‐making power from households and communities to the state and officials. The complexity of these matters in practice raises questions about the interpretation of Ethiopian land policy. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    November 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12369   open full text
  • Higher Law: Can Christian Conservatives Transform Law Through Legal Education?
    Joshua C. Wilson, Amanda Hollis‐Brusky.
    Law & Society Review. November 05, 2018
    --- - |2 The allure of law schools as transformative institutions in the United States prompted Christian Right leaders to invest in legal education in the 1990s and early 2000s. The aspiration was to control the training of lawyers in order to challenge the secular legal monopoly on law, policy, and culture. In this article, we examine three leading Christian conservative law schools and one training program dedicated to transforming the law. We ask how each institution seeks to realize its transformative mission and analyze how they organize themselves to produce the kinds of capital (human, intellectual, social, cultural) needed to effectively change the law. To do so, we develop a typology of legal institution‐building strategies (infiltration, supplemental, and parallel alternative) to compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of institutional forms. We conclude by discussing implications of our findings for those looking to law schools as sites of broader transformation within the law. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    November 05, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12364   open full text
  • Stop, Frisk, and Assault? Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force During Investigatory Stops.
    Rory Kramer, Brianna Remster.
    Law & Society Review. November 05, 2018
    --- - |2 Black civilians are more likely to be stopped by police than white civilians net of relevant factors. Less is known about whether or not racial inequalities exist in police use of force during stops. Using data on over 2 million police stops in New York City from 2007 to 2014 and drawing on literatures on race, policing, and the Black Lives Matter movement, we test hypotheses regarding the associations between race, civilian behavior, age, and police use of force. We also investigate whether recent reforms reduced any observed inequality in police violence during stops. Findings show that Black and White civilians experience fundamentally different interactions with police. Black civilians are particularly more likely to experience potential lethal force when police uncover criminal activity and this disparity is greatest for black youth compared to white youth. Overall, if there were no racial disparities in police use of force, we estimate that approximately 61,000 fewer stops of black civilians would have included police use of force and 1,000 fewer stops would have included potential lethal force from 2007 to 2014. Furthermore, while reform efforts substantially reduced the number of stops annually, inequalities in police use of force persist. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    November 05, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12366   open full text
  • Federalism and Subnational Legal Mobilization: Feminist Litigation Strategies in Salta, Argentina.
    Alba Ruibal.
    Law & Society Review. October 29, 2018
    --- - |2 This article draws from a qualitative study of feminist legal strategies in the province of Salta, Argentina, to put forth an argument about the impact of federalism on subnational legal mobilization in a nonindustrialized federal democracy. It argues that the federal architecture of the state can strengthen the ability of local legal activists to pursue litigation strategies, and that it can do so in two main ways: by fostering the institutional autonomy of government agencies and insider activists working for the defense of rights at the local level, and by facilitating the provision of external legal resources and support for local legal activists in civil society. The theoretical perspective connects two research agendas that have not yet been combined to explain feminist legal strategies in federal systems: legal mobilization studies and gender and federalism scholarship, and proposes nuances to both strands of research. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    October 29, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12370   open full text
  • Relieving the Tension: Lay Immigration Lawyering and the Management of Legal Violence.
    Jamie Longazel.
    Law & Society Review. October 29, 2018
    --- - |2 The Recognition and Accreditation Program (R&A Program) authorizes certain non‐lawyers, or “Accredited Representatives” (ARs), to practice immigration law out of non‐profit or faith‐based organizations. Drawing on interviews with practicing ARs, I describe how, at the center of this group's approach to legal practice, is a firm commitment to their clients. ARs report being particularly attuned – thanks to their social position and life experiences – to the hardships many of their clients confront at the hands of a punitive U.S. immigration system. I find this translates, on one hand, into an anti‐formalist legal practice: ARs describe performing emotional labor in order to take the edge off of formalism's rigidity for their clients. Yet at other times, cognizant of the high costs associated with a legal error, ARs describe being much more formalistic, prioritizing legal tedium. The picture becomes more complex when considered in the context of devolution and immigration governance, where it seems the emotional and bureaucratic work ARs do to protect their clients may also be providing ancillary benefits to the state. I conclude by reflecting on the implications this research has for scholarship on the legal profession, for research on “access to justice,” and for understandings of immigration governance. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    October 29, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12361   open full text
  • The Role of Nominee Gender and Race at U.S. Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings.
    Christina L. Boyd, Paul M. Collins, Lori A. Ringhand.
    Law & Society Review. October 19, 2018
    --- - |2 We investigate an unexplored aspect of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process: whether questioning senators treat female and minority nominees differently from male and white nominees. Applying out‐group theory, we argue that senators will ask female and minority nominees more questions about their “judicial philosophies” in an effort to determine their competence to serve on the Court. This out‐group bias is likely to be exacerbated for nominees not sharing the senator's political party. Our results do not support racial differences, but they do provide strong evidence that female nominees receive more judicial philosophy‐related questions from male senators. This effect is enhanced when the female nominee does not share the partisan affiliation of the questioning senator. Together, these findings indicate that female nominees undergo a substantively different confirmation process than male nominees. We further find that this effect may be most intense with nominees like Justice Sotomayor, whose identities align with more than one out‐group. - 'Law &Society Review, EarlyView. '
    October 19, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12362   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Law & Society Review. October 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 555-558, September 2018.
    October 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12363   open full text
  • Editors' Note.
    Jeannine Bell, Susan Sterett, Margot Young.
    Law & Society Review. October 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 559-559, September 2018.
    October 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12359   open full text
  • China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and the Law. By Matthew S. Erie. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
    Arzoo Osanloo.
    Law & Society Review. October 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 816-820, September 2018.
    October 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12356   open full text
  • Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia. By Tim Lindsey, Helen Pausacker. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
    Stijn C van Huis.
    Law & Society Review. October 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 821-823, September 2018.
    October 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12357   open full text
  • Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring. By Nimer Sultany. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
    Mohammad Fadel.
    Law & Society Review. October 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 810-813, September 2018.
    October 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12354   open full text
  • “Legality with a Vengeance”: Reclaiming Distribution for Sociolegal Studies.
    Sandra R. Levitsky, Rachel Kahn Best, Jessica Garrick.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 The law and society community has argued for decades for an expansive understanding of what counts as “law.” But a content analysis of articles published in the Law & Society Review from its 1966 founding to the present finds that since the 1970s, the law and society community has focused its attention on laws in which the state regulates behavior, and largely ignored laws in which the state distributes resources, goods, and services. Why did socio‐legal scholars avoid studying how laws determine access to such things as health, wealth, housing, education, and food? We find that socio‐legal scholarship has always used “law on the books” as a starting point for analyses (often to identify departures in “law in action”) without ever offering a programmatic vision for how law might ameliorate economic inequality. As a result, when social welfare laws on the books began disappearing, socio‐legal scholarship drifted away from studying law's role in creating, sustaining, and reinforcing economic inequality. We argue that socio‐legal scholarship offers a wide range of analytical tools that could make important contributions to our understanding of social welfare provision. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 709-739, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12349   open full text
  • Crack as Proxy: Aggressive Federal Drug Prosecutions and the Production of Black–White Racial Inequality.
    Mona Lynch, Marisa Omori.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 In this article, we empirically examine jurisdictional variations in federal crack prosecutions to measure whether aggressive crack prosecutorial practices are associated with racial inequality in federal caseload characteristics and outcomes. Building on theories that address the production of inequality in institutional settings, we hypothesize that U.S. Attorneys’ offices that are more proactive in charging defendants with crack, relative to other kinds of drugs, and relative to case strength and seriousness, will demonstrate higher rates of black–white racial inequality in case outcomes across the entire criminal caseload. Consistent with theories of institutional racism, our findings demonstrate that aggressive crack prosecutions at the district level are a strong predictor of black–white inequality in conviction rates across the entire criminal caseload, and a much more modest predictor of inequality in final sentence outcomes. We conclude by discussing the importance of organizational‐level empirical analyses for more effectively uncovering the conditions under which inequality can and does flourish in legal settings, and suggest possible future lines of inquiry along these lines. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 773-809, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12348   open full text
  • Pop‐Up Property: Enacting Ownership from San Francisco to Sydney.
    Amelia Thorpe.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Through a detailed examination of PARK(ing) Day, a loosely organized international event to reclaim street space from cars, this article reveals the intimate connection between property and its social and material context. Private claims to public streets are not uncommon. In some cases, such claims are swiftly rejected. In others, they receive recognition and respect. Focusing on the particular set of proprietary claims within PARK(ing) Day, this article examines the ways in which property on city streets is claimed and contested. Drawing primarily on fieldwork in Sydney, Australia, the analysis emphasizes the degree to which property depends on the networks in which it is situated. PARK(ing) Day was based on a creative rereading of the property producible by paying a parking meter, and this link with legality plays a key role in the event. Yet the property at issue is based on much more than that simple transaction. A more emergent and socially constructed conception of ownership is central in understanding both the making of claims to city streets on PARK(ing) Day and the range of responses they generate. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 740-772, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12347   open full text
  • Are Women Getting (More) Justice? Malaysia's Sharia Courts in Ethnographic and Historical Perspective.
    Michael G. Peletz.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Religious law is commonly understood as deeply conservative and unfriendly to women, even when it is reform oriented and “this‐worldly.” This essay challenges that understanding. It does so by engaging the practice and lived entailments of Islamic family law and gender pluralism in Malaysia, based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted since the late 1970s. My research reveals that sharia courts are more timely and flexible in responding to women's claims than in decades past, and that these courts are more inclined to punish husbands who transgress sharia family law bearing on women. In addition, women nowadays have far more access to resources for negotiating marriage, its dissolution, and the aftermath. This is not to say that women and men experience marriage, divorce, or the sharia juridical field as social equals; they do not. But this situation is changing in ways that benefit women as long as they embrace increasingly salient and restrictive codes of obedience and heteronormativity. More broadly, the essay problematizes tensions and oppositions between Islamic law and women's rights that are the subject of considerable scholarly debate and contributes to our understanding of the complex entanglements of religion and law. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 652-684, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12346   open full text
  • Law, the State, and Public Order: Regulating Religion in Contemporary Egypt.
    Mona Oraby.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 A substantial scholarship has studied the extent to which states across the political and geographic spectrums rely on legal, bureaucratic, and judicial institutions to govern religion. However, a deeper inquiry into the mechanisms through which regulation occurs has yet been achieved. This article foregrounds conversion, understood as mobility between social groups in which belief and sincerity may figure but is not reducible to either, to observe these dynamics. Through an analysis of Egyptian jurisprudence on the right to change religion as well as interviews with complainants and litigators, the article challenges widespread assumptions about who and what constitute the regulatory field. It also shows how religious difference is produced in the legal‐bureaucratic encounter. By accounting for institutions that are not typically considered part of the regulatory field nor thought to be bound by the strictures of legal positivism, this article further occasions a rethinking of the public–private distinction within critiques of secularism. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 574-602, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12353   open full text
  • Seeing Like an Islamic State: Shari‘a and Political Power in Sudan.
    Jeffrey Adam Sachs.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Islamic law, or shari‘a, has been incorporated into the legal systems of many states. In much of the existing literature, this process is understood as part of the colonial and postcolonial state's attempt to render law legible—that is, codified, standardized, and abstract. In this article, I show how some state actors chose to move in the opposite direction, actively discouraging the transformation of shari‘a into a formal and codified system of law. Using the case of colonial and postcolonial Sudan, I argue that these actors viewed legal legibility as a threat to state power, recognizing the jurisgenerative potential of an informal and uncodified law. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 630-651, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12352   open full text
  • Sharia Courts and Muslim Personal Law in India: Intersecting Legal Regimes.
    Katherine Lemons.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 In July 2005, a Delhi lawyer filed suit with the Supreme Court of India seeking to ban “sharia courts” (dar ul qazas) and Islamic legal opinions, arguing that they constitute a “parallel judicial system” that undermines the state's legal institutions. The Supreme Court decided in 2014 that dar ul qazas are not parallel but appropriate alternative forums. In this article, I analyze several divorce cases in Delhi and Patna dar ul qazas to show that, rather than being alternative or parallel, dar ul qazas intersect with state courts. Attending to this intersection, I argue, has implications for how we understand legal pluralism, secularism, and the relation between them. Specifically, I argue that because of how cases travel between dar ul qazas and state courts, dar ul qazas help to consolidate the oppositions between religious and secular law, kin relations, and rights upon which secularism relies. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 603-629, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12351   open full text
  • The Judicialization of Religion.
    Tamir Moustafa.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, one Muslim‐majority country after another adopted constitutional provisions meant to incorporate Islam into the legal order. In what is now a familiar pattern, leaders sought to harness the legitimating power of Islamic symbolism. But rather than shore up state legitimacy, these provisions opened new avenues of contestation. In countries where judicial institutions are robust, religion of the state clauses have helped to catalyze a “judicialization of religion,” wherein courts were made to authorize an “official” religion and/or render judgment on the appropriate place for religion in the political order. This study theorizes one aspect of the judicialization of religion through the illustrative case study of Malaysia. The study examines how shifting political context provided opportunities for activist lawyers to advance sweeping new interpretations of Malaysia's Religion of the Federation clause and, with it, a new vision for state and society. - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 685-708, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12350   open full text
  • Law and Society Review Special Issue Introduction: Islamic Law, Society, and the State.
    Tamir Moustafa, Jeffrey Adam Sachs.
    Law & Society Review. October 03, 2018
    --- - - 'Law &Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 560-573, September 2018. '
    October 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12360   open full text
  • Muslim Women's Quest for Justice: Gender, Law and Activism in India. By Mengia Hong‐Tschalaer. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
    Kalindi Kokal.
    Law & Society Review. September 08, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 823-827, September 2018.
    September 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12358   open full text
  • Shariʿah On Trial: Northern Nigeria's Islamic Revolution. By Sarah Eltantawi, Oakland: University of California Press, 2017.
    Mark Fathi Massoud.
    Law & Society Review. September 07, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Page 813-816, September 2018.
    September 07, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12355   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Law & Society Review. May 29, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 291-294, June 2018.
    May 29, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12341   open full text
  • The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice. By Ellen Berrey. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

    Law & Society Review. May 16, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 532-537, June 2018.
    May 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12332   open full text
  • Hierarchy and Stratification in the Israeli Legal Profession.
    Tamar Kricheli‐Katz, Issi Rosen‐Zvi, Neta Ziv.
    Law & Society Review. May 11, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 436-470, June 2018.
    May 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12325   open full text
  • “That's How She Talks”: Animating Text Message Evidence in the Sexual Assault Trial.
    Heather R. Hlavka, Sameena Mulla.
    Law & Society Review. May 11, 2018
    --- - |2 This ethnographic study of criminal sexual assault adjudication shows how prosecutors, defense attorneys, and witnesses animate text message evidence. In contrast to other forms of courtroom testimony, text messages function as multiauthored representations of recorded correspondence in the past. Attorneys and witnesses animate texts authored by or said to characterize persons represented at trial. By whom and how the texts are animated shapes trial processes. Through a detailed comparative case analysis of two Milwaukee, WI, sexual assault trials, this article attends to the process by which text messages are said to personify or characterize authors’ meaning and intent. This animation of electronically transmitted text speaks to credibility and variably emphasizes a witness's place within gendered and racialized cultural norms. Rather than unsettling the trope of “he said, she said,” text messages become contested evidence animated by court actors within contexts of long‐standing cultural narratives of sexual victimization and offending. - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 401-435, June 2018.
    May 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12340   open full text
  • Ambivalent Legal Mobilization: Perceptions of Justice and the Use of the Tutela in Colombia.
    Whitney K. Taylor.
    Law & Society Review. May 09, 2018
    --- - |2 This article explores the relationship between legal consciousness and legal mobilization in the context of constitutional rights in Colombia. Citizens report extremely low confidence in the state and the judiciary, yet hundreds of thousands of Colombians make constitutional rights claims through the acción de tutela procedure each year. Why does profound skepticism of the ability of the judiciary to provide justice and fair treatment seem to coexist with high levels of use of the legal system? How do perspectives on rights and the legal system relate to observed mobilization of the law? Drawing on 74 interviews and an original 310‐person survey, this article develops legal consciousness theory, identifying the specific beliefs that encourage or discourage individuals to turn to the courts to make claims to their rights. In the Colombian case, understandings of law and the state encourage the use of the tutela procedure, not due to the realizable promise of the state to protect rights or the majestic power of the law, but because the tutela is understood to be the only mechanism through which citizens can access their rights. In other words, citizens turn to the courts because there is no other alternative. - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 337-367, June 2018.
    May 09, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12329   open full text
  • Representing Immigrants: The Role of Lawyers in Immigration Bond Hearings.
    Emily Ryo.
    Law & Society Review. May 09, 2018
    --- - |2 Do immigration lawyers matter, and if so, how? Drawing on a rich source of audio recording data, this study addresses these questions in the context of U.S. immigration bond hearings—a critical stage in the removal process for noncitizens who have been apprehended by U.S. immigration officials. First, my regression analysis using a matched sample of legally represented and unrepresented detainees shows that represented detainees have significantly higher odds of being granted bond. Second, I explore whether legal representation affects judicial efficiency and find no evidence of such a relationship. Third, I examine procedural and substantive differences between represented and unrepresented hearings. My analysis shows no differences in the judges' procedural behaviors, but significant differences in the detainees' level and type of courtroom advocacy. Represented detainees are more likely to submit documents, to present affirmative arguments for release, and to offer legally relevant arguments. Surprisingly, however, I find no evidence that these activities explain the positive effect of legal representation on hearing outcomes. These findings underscore the need to investigate not only what lawyers do in the courtroom, but also less quantifiable factors such as the quality of their advocacy, the nature of their relationship to other courtroom actors, and the potential signaling function of their presence in the courtroom. - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 503-531, June 2018.
    May 09, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12328   open full text
  • “When They Come for You”: Legal Mobilization in New Authoritarian Russia.
    Freek van der Vet.
    Law & Society Review. May 09, 2018
    --- - |2 As of 2012, the Russian State Duma passed a string of repressive laws on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), surveillance, and high treason. Under this “new authoritarian” regime, a growing number of Russians are investigated by the security services or put on trial for high treason. NGOs face selective prosecution and surprise inspections. While we know how lawyers use legal mobilization in democratic regimes where they can expect courts to be fair, legal mobilization remains understudied in regimes moving toward authoritarianism, where authorities pass repressive laws but enforce them erratically. Drawing on interviews with Russian lawyers, this article examines how lawyers represent two victim groups of state coercion: Russians under investigation for treason and prosecuted human rights NGOs. By examining how lawyers make strategic choices while coping with unfair courts, the random enforcement of laws, and shrinking resources, this article argues that state coercion does not deter lawyers from legal mobilization at domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights. Instead, repressive laws push lawyers to reinvent their everyday practices to counter repressive legislation and conviction bias in the criminal justice system. - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 301-336, June 2018.
    May 09, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12339   open full text
  • The Extent and Correlates of Public Support for Deterrence Reforms and Hot Spots Policing.
    Christi Metcalfe, Justin T. Pickett.
    Law & Society Review. May 08, 2018
    --- - |2 As one approach to prison downsizing and criminal justice reform, scholars recommend altering the nature of policing by reallocating resources toward policing and increasing sentinel patrols and hot spots interventions. Public attitudes toward these reforms are unknown. In the current police crisis, shifting policies in ways disfavored by the public can impact police‐community relations, especially among those disproportionately affected. The current study uses survey data from a nationally representative sample of Americans to evaluate whether the public is receptive to the suggested reforms. Our results indicate that the majority of the general public believes policing is more cost‐effective than incarceration and supports a focus on sentinel patrols and crime hot spots, although there is less support for hot spots policing among blacks, Hispanics, and lower income individuals. The hot spots policing strategy most preferred is situational prevention, and the least supported is aggressive order‐maintenance policing. - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 471-502, June 2018.
    May 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12327   open full text
  • Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer. By Alexander L. Hinton. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016.
    Rachel Hughes.
    Law & Society Review. May 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 543-546, June 2018.
    May 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12335   open full text
  • Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America. By Roberto G. Gonzales. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016.
    Bethany Hastie.
    Law & Society Review. May 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 540-543, June 2018.
    May 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12334   open full text
  • Heritage, Culture and Rights: Challenging Legal Discourses. By Andrea Durbach and Lucas Lixinski (Eds.). Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2017.
    Emiline Smith.
    Law & Society Review. May 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 537-540, June 2018.
    May 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12333   open full text
  • Understanding Statelessness. By Tendayi Bloom, Katherine Tonkiss & Phillip Cole (Eds.). New York: Routledge, 2017.
    Julija Sardelić.
    Law & Society Review. May 04, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 549-551, June 2018.
    May 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12337   open full text
  • A Multidimensional View of Legal Cynicism: Perceptions of the Police Among Anti‐harassment Teams in Egypt.
    Magda Boutros.
    Law & Society Review. May 04, 2018
    --- - |2 In Egypt in 2012, several anti‐harassment groups were established to respond to an increase in sexual violence in public spaces and to the failure of the state to tackle the issue. Anti‐harassment groups organized patrol‐type intervention teams that operated during demonstrations or public celebrations to stop sexual assaults. This article examines how activists perceived the police in five anti‐harassment groups between 2012 and 2014, and the role these perceptions played in groups' decisions about cooperating with the police, and on‐the‐ground strategies of action. I argue for a multidimensional view of legal cynicism that conceptualizes legal cynicism as composed of three dimensions: legitimacy (a sense that law enforcement agencies are not entitled to be deferred to and obeyed), protection (a perception that the law fails to protect rights and provide public safety), and threat (a perception that the law represents a threat). This approach helps uncover the various meanings that legal cynicism takes for different actors in different contexts, and how actors justify their strategies of action based on their specific perceptions of the police's legitimacy, protective role, and threat. - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 368-400, June 2018.
    May 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12326   open full text
  • Editors' Note.

    Law & Society Review. May 02, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 295-297, June 2018.
    May 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12330   open full text
  • In Memoriam.

    Law & Society Review. May 02, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 298-300, June 2018.
    May 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12331   open full text
  • Navigating Conflict: How Youth Handle Trouble in a High‐Poverty School. By Calvin Morrill and Michael Musheno. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2018.
    Katie R. Billings.
    Law & Society Review. May 02, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 551-554, June 2018.
    May 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12338   open full text
  • Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno‐Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil. By Tianna S. Paschel. Princeton, NJ, and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016.
    Shantee Rosado.
    Law & Society Review. May 02, 2018
    --- - - Law & Society Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, Page 546-548, June 2018.
    May 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12336   open full text
  • Friends You Can Trust: A Signaling Theory of Interest Group Litigation Before the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Lucia Manzi, Matthew E.K. Hall.
    Law & Society Review. August 14, 2017
    How do interest groups influence U.S. Supreme Court justices to vote in favor of their preferred outcomes? Following prior research on the influence of the Solicitor General, we develop and expand on the signaling theory of interest group influence via amicus curie briefs. We argue that an interest group's ideological reputation and the nature of the ideological signal it sends in its brief both function as powerful heuristics that convey information to the justices depending on the justices' own ideological preferences. When an organization files an amicus brief advocating for an outcome seemingly contrary to its traditional preferences (i.e., an unexpected signal), this signal should be more noticeable and credible than a signal in accordance with a group's conventional views (i.e., an expected signal). However, unexpected signals should have greater influence on justices who share the brief filer's preferences. We test our signaling theory on the terms from 1991 through 2002. We find that unexpected signals (but not expected signals) are associated with Supreme Court voting, and the influence of unexpected signals appears to be particularly strong among justices who share the ideological preferences of the brief filer.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12280   open full text
  • Race and Determinations of Discrimination: Vigilance, Cynicism, Skepticism, and Attitudes about Legal Mobilization in Employment Civil Rights.
    David McElhattan, Laura Beth Nielsen, Jill D. Weinberg.
    Law & Society Review. August 14, 2017
    What factors affect whether ordinary citizens believe that workplace decisions involving African‐American employees rise to the level of discrimination? When do observers believe targets of possible race discrimination should consider mobilizing the law? We use a factorial design vignette study administered to a nationally representative sample of 2,087 ordinary people to address these questions. The “vigilance hypothesis” predicts that minorities will be more likely to perceive discrimination than whites. Our analysis partially confirms this: African Americans perceive anti‐Black discrimination at higher rates than do whites and Latinos, while Latinos do not show a significant difference from whites. Where respondents believe discrimination occurred, we analyze what influences whether respondents might recommend legal mobilization. The “cynicism hypothesis” suggests that people of color may be less likely to favor using law. We find, however, that African‐American and Latino respondents express more confidence in civil litigation, compared to whites. Further, African Americans express the strongest support for legal mobilization (recommending that a “friend” contact an attorney), while whites and Latinos do not differ in mobilization recommendations.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12276   open full text
  • Networking in the Shadow of the Law: Informal Access to Legal Expertise through Personal Network Ties.
    Erin York Cornwell, Emily S. Taylor Poppe, Megan Doherty Bea.
    Law & Society Review. August 14, 2017
    Civil legal problems are common in everyday life, but the costs of obtaining legal representation create barriers to legal action and contribute to disparities in access to justice. Some individuals, however, may have informal access to legal assistance through personal network ties with lawyers, enhancing their responses to justiciable problems. In this study, we draw from theories of social capital and network formation to examine the distribution and mobilization of network‐based legal expertise. Using nationally representative survey data, we find that network‐based access to lawyers is widespread, and most people who have ties to lawyers expect to informally mobilize legal assistance when facing a problem. But people who are most likely to afford formal legal representation are also most likely to have informal access to lawyers. Thus, while informal access to lawyers may shape responses to legal problems, it may also exacerbate inequalities in experiences with civil justice events.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12278   open full text
  • The Effect of Paramilitary Protest Policing on Protestors' Trust in the Police: The Case of the “Occupy Israel” Movement.
    Gali Perry, Tal Jonathan‐Zamir, David Weisburd.
    Law & Society Review. August 14, 2017
    The use of paramilitary methods in civil policing tasks has become common in Western police agencies. Despite propositions that such methods should undermine the relationship between the police and the public, the effect of paramilitary policing on public trust in the police has not been empirically tested. In the present study, we examine this question in the context of protest policing, which has become a major concern for Western police agencies. Using a survey of 470 protesters who participated in “Occupy” protest events in Israel in 2012, we find that the perceived use of paramilitary methods has an independent and negative effect on trust, stronger than that of police effectiveness and the “neutrality” component of procedural justice. In‐depth interviews suggest that the significance of paramilitarism may be the result of a sense of alienation and criminalization it elicits among protesters who generally perceive themselves as law‐abiding citizens.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12279   open full text
  • Crossing Borders and Criminalizing Identity: The Disintegrated Subjects of Administrative Sanctions.
    Keramet Reiter, Susan Bibler Coutin.
    Law & Society Review. August 14, 2017
    This paper draws on in‐depth, qualitative interviews that examine individual experiences in two different legal contexts: deportation regimes and supermax prisons. Through putting these contexts and experiences into dialogue, we identify common legal processes of punishment experiences across both contexts. Specifically, the U.S. legal system re‐labels immigrants (as deportable noncitizens) and supermax prisoners (as dangerous gang offenders). This re‐labeling begins a process of othering, which ends in categorical exclusions for both immigrants and supermax prisoners. As individuals experience this categorical exclusion, they cross multiple borders and boundaries—often against their will—moving from prison to detention center to other countries beyond the U.S. border, and from isolation to prison to “free” society. In both cases, the state action that subjects experience as punishment is civil and, therefore, nominally not punitive. Ultimately, excluded individuals find themselves in a space of legal nonexistence. By examining these common processes and experiences, we argue that a new kind of subject is revealed: a disintegrating subject (as opposed to a juridical or disciplinary subject) whose exclusion reinforces the power of the state.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12281   open full text
  • The Difference Law Makes: Domestic Atrocity Laws and Human Rights Prosecutions.
    Mark S. Berlin, Geoff Dancy.
    Law & Society Review. August 14, 2017
    This article offers the first systematic analysis of the effects of domestic atrocity laws on human rights prosecutions. Scholars have identified various political and sociological factors to explain the striking rise in human rights prosecutions over the past 30 years, yet the role of domestic criminal law in enabling such prosecutions has largely been unexamined. That is surprising given that international legal prohibitions against human rights atrocities are designed to be enforced by domestic courts applying domestic criminal law. We argue that domestic criminal laws against genocide and crimes against humanity facilitate human rights prosecutions in post‐authoritarian states by helping to overcome formal legal roadblocks to prosecution, such as retroactivity, amnesties, immunities, and statutes of limitations. Using original data on domestic atrocity laws and human rights prosecutions in new democracies, we find that atrocity laws increase the speed with which new democracies pursue prosecutions, as well as the overall numbers of trials they initiate and complete.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12277   open full text
  • Moral Foundations, Intuitions of Justice, and the Intricacies of Punitive Sentiment.
    Jasmine R. Silver.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    Research on punitive attitudes has, so far, focused largely on people's retributive attitudes toward offenders. However, a large theoretical body of research indicates that concerns about different types of offenses and victims may be just as important in structuring punitive attitudes. Particularly, Moral Foundations Theory suggests that distinct punitive attitudes may be based in intuitive moral concerns (“moral foundations”) about offenses that victimize individuals, groups, and the “divine,” referring to bodily purity or sanctity. In this study, I develop measures of what I term “victim‐centered punitiveness,” and use data from a nationwide survey of adult Americans (N = 915) to compare the sources of offender‐ and victim‐centered punitiveness. As expected, different moral foundations shape offender‐ and victim‐centered punitiveness in different ways, suggesting that they have distinct intuitive, moral bases. Other factors, including racial resentment, also have distinct effects on each type of punitiveness.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12264   open full text
  • “I'm Giving You a Lawful Order”: Dialogic Legitimacy in Sandra Bland's Traffic Stop.
    Belén V. Lowrey‐Kinberg, Grace Sullivan Buker.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    On July 10, 2015, a young African American woman named Sandra Bland was stopped by State Trooper Officer Brian Encinia for failing to signal a lane change. What began as a routine traffic stop quickly devolved into shouting, a physical confrontation, and Bland's subsequent arrest. We use discourse analysis to examine the rapid escalation of this encounter with a focus on procedural justice (Sunshine & Tyler ) and the dialogic approach to legitimacy (Bottoms & Tankebe ). In analyzing the transcript of Sandra Bland's traffic stop, we address several key questions: How is procedural justice manifested linguistically? Can the dialogic legitimacy framework be used to understand the dynamics of individual police‐citizen interactions? The conclusions of this analysis provide an interdisciplinary view of how procedural justice and legitimacy are manifested and negotiated in a police‐citizen interaction.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12265   open full text
  • The Hidden Arm of the Law: Examining Administrative Justice in Gun Carry Licensing.
    Jennifer Carlson.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    Responding to calls to “decenter” American penality beyond the carceral apparatus, this article ethnographically examines administrative process and dissects how it interlocks with criminal justice. To do so, it draws on an admittedly unusual, but theoretically generative, case: administrative gun boards, charged with issuing, denying, revoking, and suspending licenses to conceal carry a firearm. While scholars have examined gun ownership and gun carrying as a social practice, less attention has been paid to gun licensing as a state practice. Drawing on observations of over 900 cases from gun board meetings in two counties in Michigan, this paper examines how administrative process mimics, supplements, and facilitates criminal justice through three mechanisms: procedural pains, in which administrative process resembles criminal justice; parallel punishment, in which administrative process supplements criminal justice through withholding of benefits, entitlements or licenses; and valve‐turning, in which administrative process funnels, or threatens to funnel, claimants into the criminal justice system. Revealing how administrative process and criminal justice become mutually reinforcing, the findings extend and integrate scholarship that shows the material, symbolic, and psychic implications of criminal justice contact, on the one hand, with the increased tendency of administrative contexts to resemble criminal justice institutions, on the other.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12263   open full text
  • Local Governance and Redistributive Policy: Explaining Local Funding for Public Defense.
    Andrew Lucas Blaize Davies, Alissa Pollitz Worden.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    In many American states, public defense is provided at the county rather than state level (Langton & Farole ). Local governments have discretion over implementing and funding the right to counsel, resulting in considerable variability in programs and funding levels. Placing this issue in the theoretical context of redistributive policies and politics, we investigate decisions on funding this service across upstate New York counties. Using as a point of departure Paul Peterson's classic explication of community politics, we first model variation in funding as a function of counties' fiscal capacity, need for services, and costs of supplying legal representation. We also test Peterson's prediction that local political factors will play little if any role in budget decisions. Second, through interviews with program administrators we explore the characters of twelve defender programs in which expenditures departed from the model's predictions. We find that three factors—which we term “influence,” “infrastructure,” and “ideas"”—also vary directly with levels of funding. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for theoretical thinking about due process policies and local politics, and for policy debate over how best to ensure adequate counsel in criminal court.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12266   open full text
  • Disqualified Bodies: A Sociolegal Analysis of the Organ Trade in Cairo, Egypt.
    Seán Columb.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    Legislative and policy interventions in response to the organ trade have centered on the introduction of criminal sanctions in an effort to deter organ sales and/or “trafficking.” Yet, such measures fail to take account of the social and political processes that facilitate the exploitation of individuals in organ markets in different contexts. Informed by empirical data, gathered via a series of in‐depth interviews with Sudanese migrants who have sold a kidney, this paper examines the link between increased urbanization, migration patterns, informalization, and the emergence of organ markets in the Egyptian‐Sudanese context. The findings illustrate how processes of legal marginalization and social exclusion leave people vulnerable to exploitation in organ markets. The prevailing law enforcement response does not capture or respond to the empirical reality. Accordingly, this paper shifts the emphasis away from criminalization toward an analysis of the legal barriers and policy decisions that shape the poor bargaining position of organ sellers. In doing so, it opens up discussion of the organ trade onto wider critiques that disrupt boundaries between formality and informality in labor markets and trouble dominant modes of criminalization.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12269   open full text
  • A Disruptive Influence? “Prevent‐ing” Problems and Countering Violent Extremism Policy in Practice.
    Martin Innes, Colin Roberts, Trudy Lowe.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    This article describes how disrupting the activities of suspected violent extremists has become an increasingly significant construct in the policy and practice of the Prevent strand of UK Counter‐Terrorism. Informed by empirical data collected during semi‐structured interviews with police officers involved in conducting disruptions and members of the communities where these occurred, blended with a limited amount of field observation, the analysis documents how and why a logic of disruption has assumed increasing prominence in counter terrorism work. In respect of police interventions in particular, implementing disruptions, rather than pursuing fully‐fledged prosecutions, represents a pragmatic way of reconciling increasing demand with limited resources, as well as managing some of the difficulties of translating intelligence into legal evidence. Conceptualized in this way, the analysis positions disruption as a distinctive mode of crime prevention; one premised upon logics of near‐event interdiction. As such, it is understood as rather different in its operations and functions to other forms of “early intervention” that are increasingly prominent in much contemporary crime prevention policy. By focusing upon how specific Prevent interventions are implemented and performed this analysis makes a particular contribution to our knowledge of counter terrorism work. This reflects the fact that most previous studies of Prevent and other countering violent extremism programs have provided analyses of community perceptions and reactions to policing and the policy frame, rather than the configuration of the interventions themselves.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12267   open full text
  • Turning the Witness Stand into a Speaker's Platform: Victim Participation in the Norwegian Legal System as Exemplified by the Trial Against Anders Behring Breivik.
    Solveig Laugerud, Åse Langballe.
    Law & Society Review. May 10, 2017
    In this article, we investigate how victims pursue legal participation when they are confronted by legal barriers and dilemmas that arise from tensions between legal formality and lay expectations and contributions of legal proceedings. We use the trial against Anders Behring Breivik as a case. Breivik placed a bomb in Norway's Government District before he shot and killed 69 people on a small island. We analyze interviews with 31 victims who testified against Breivik in court. We argue that the circumstances of the trial against Breivik can be characterized as “ideal” in terms of victims’ rights. The exceptionality of this case facilitates a focus on unquestioned obstacles to victim participation concerning the professionalization of the legal system. We question the presumption prevalent among some theorists that the professionalization of the legal system excludes lay participation, by arguing that legal formality both alienate and empower lay participation.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12268   open full text
  • The Elastic Ceiling: Gender and Professional Career in Chinese Courts.
    Chunyan Zheng, Jiahui Ai, Sida Liu.
    Law & Society Review. February 15, 2017
    Since the 1990s, the number of women in Chinese courts has been increasing steadily. Many women judges have risen to mid‐level leadership positions, such as division chiefs and vice‐chiefs, in the judicial bureaucracy. However, it remains difficult for women to be promoted to high‐level leadership positions, such as vice‐presidents and presidents. What explains the stratified patterns of career mobility for women in Chinese courts? In this article, we argue that two social processes are at work in shaping the structural patterns of gender inequality: dual‐track promotion and reverse attrition. Dual‐track promotion is dominated by a masculine and corrupt judicial culture on the political track that prevents women from obtaining high‐level promotions, but still allows them to rise to mid‐level leadership positions on the professional track based on their expertise and work performance. Reverse attrition enables women to take vacant mid‐level positions left by men who exit the judiciary to pursue other careers. Taken together, the vertical and horizontal mobility of judges in their career development presents a processual logic to gender inequality and shapes women's structural positions in Chinese courts, a phenomenon that we term the “elastic ceiling.”
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12249   open full text
  • Intersectional Coalitions: The Paradoxes of Rights‐Based Movement Building in LGBTQ and Immigrant Communities.
    Erin M. Adam.
    Law & Society Review. February 15, 2017
    Over the past decade, inter‐ and intra‐movement coalitions composed of organizations within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) and immigrant rights movements have formed at the local level. These coalitions speak to a massive organizing effort that has achieved some rights campaign successes. However, coalition unity that culminated in “wins” like marriage equality came at a cost. While both movements expanded and unified, they simultaneously ossified around goals that matter to the most privileged segments of their respective communities. The result is a paradox: coalitions do sometimes form within and across movements, promote enduring unity across seemingly divergent movements, and facilitate rights campaign “wins.” However, coalitions simultaneously reinforce hierarchical exclusions through the continued marginalization of issues that uproot conventional power dynamics, like police violence, economic inequality, and gender justice. This essay argues that the construction of a common “civil rights past” identity within coalitions can help to explain this paradox. The development of this collective identity expands movements, occasionally thwarting the power dynamics responsible for the centering of the interests of the most privileged constituencies within social movements. However, the episodic nature of rights‐based campaigns simultaneously contains and undermines the formation of this collective identity, reinforcing movement divisions based on race, gender, and class.
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12248   open full text
  • Legal Attitudes of Immigrant Detainees.
    Emily Ryo.
    Law & Society Review. February 15, 2017
    A substantial body of research shows that people's legal attitudes can have wide‐ranging behavioral consequences. In this article, I use original survey data to examine long‐term immigrant detainees’ legal attitudes. I find that the majority of detainees express a felt obligation to obey the law, and do so at a significantly higher rate than other U.S. sample populations. I also find that the detainees’ perceived obligation to obey U.S. immigration authorities is significantly related to their evaluations of procedural justice, as measured by their assessments of fair treatment while in detention. This finding remains robust controlling for a variety of instrumental and detainee background factors, including the detainees’ experiences with the legal system and legal authorities in their countries of origin. Finally, I find that vicarious procedural justice evaluations based on detainees’ assessments of how others are treated are as important to detainees’ perceived obligation to obey U.S. immigration authorities as their personal experiences of fair or unfair treatment. I discuss the broader implications of these findings and their contributions to research on procedural justice and legal compliance, and research on legal attitudes of noncitizens.
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12252   open full text
  • Punishment within Prison: An Examination of the Influences of Prison Officials’ Decisions to Remove Sentencing Credits.
    Benjamin Steiner, Calli M. Cain.
    Law & Society Review. February 15, 2017
    Despite considerable research directed toward understanding the factors that affect punishment decision‐making leading to imprisonment, few studies have examined the influences of punishment decisions within prisons. Punishment decisions made within prisons can affect an individual's liberty during their imprisonment and/or the timing of their release from prison if the punishment results in the loss of sentencing credits or influences parole decision‐making. Moreover, if punishment disparities result from these decisions, then some offender groups may endure a greater loss of liberty relative to others. In this study, we examine the factors that influence prison officials’ decisions to remove sentencing credits in response to prison rule violations. Analysis of collected data from a Midwestern state prison system reveal that prison officials are primarily influenced by the seriousness and type of the rule violation, along with an inmate's violation history. Other relevant factors include those proximately connected to an inmate's risk of subsequent misbehavior such as gang membership and those that are linked to practical consequences and constraints associated with the organizational environment and particular inmates such as the proportion of their sentence an inmate has served and whether an inmate has mental health problems.
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12250   open full text
  • Violence Prevention and Targeting the Elusive Gang Member.
    Tony Cheng.
    Law & Society Review. February 15, 2017
    Who do violence preventers target to achieve violence prevention? This fundamental question of selection is typically associated with law enforcement, yet gang labeling is critical in another context: nonprofit violence prevention. Eighteen months of fieldwork in a gang outreach organization find that (a) workers operationalize gang violence prevention as social service provision, but (b) services are only offered to those deemed “ready” for life changes. Readiness is an unwritten eligibility criteria leveraged as a rhetorical tool to focus recruitment on clients who demonstrate complicity. It is reaffirmed through external pressures to document program effectiveness; organizational‐level concerns for efficient resource allocation; the subpopulation of clients who actually want services; and workers’ own fears of “getting played”—losing face from free‐riding clients interested in street worker perks, but not formal services. While core gang members may be most at‐risk, their very centrality may deter, rather than justify, providing them services.
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12251   open full text
  • Crime Data, the Internet, and Free Speech: An Evolving Legal Consciousness.
    Sarah Esther Lageson.
    Law & Society Review. February 15, 2017
    Digitization and open access to governmental data have made criminal justice information incredibly easy to access and disseminate. This study asks how law should govern access to criminal histories on the Internet. Drawing upon interviews with crime website publishers and subjects who have appeared on websites, I use legal consciousness theory to show how social actors interpret, construct, and invoke law in a nascent and unregulated area. The analysis reveals how both parties construct legality in the absence of positive legal restrictions: Website publishers use legal justifications, while those appealing to have their online record cleared resort to personal pleas, as opposed to legal remedy. Ultimately, I show how current data practices reinforce structural inequalities already present in criminal justice institutions in a profoundly public manner, leaving website subjects with little recourse and an inescapable digital trail.
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12253   open full text
  • Dispute Resolution Outside of Courts: Procedural Justice and Decision Acceptance Among Users of Ombuds Services in the UK.
    Naomi Creutzfeldt, Ben Bradford.
    Law & Society Review. November 07, 2016
    Attitudes toward legal authorities based on theories of procedural justice have been explored extensively in the criminal and civil justice systems. This has provided considerable empirical evidence concerning the importance of trust and legitimacy in generating cooperation, compliance, and decision acceptance. However, not enough attention has been paid to attitudes towards institutions of informal dispute resolution. This paper asks whether the theory of procedural justice applies to the alternative dispute resolution context, focusing on ombuds services. What are the predictors of perceptions of procedural justice during the process of dealing with an ombuds, and what factors shape outcome acceptance? These questions are analyzed using a sample of recent ombuds users. The results indicate that outcome favorability is highly correlated with perceived procedural justice, and both predict decision acceptance.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12234   open full text
  • Infusing Public Law into Privatized Welfare: Lawyers, Economists, and the Competing Logics of Administrative Reform.
    Avishai Benish, Asa Maron.
    Law & Society Review. November 07, 2016
    Along with the trend toward “New Public Management” (NPM) and replacing the legal culture of public bureaucracies with market logic through privatization, we are also witnessing instances of “publicization,” the application of public law norms and mechanisms to privatized services. The article explores the role of government lawyers and economists in the dynamics of these administrative reforms. Using a detailed case study of welfare‐to‐work reform in Israel, it shows that the reconstruction of decision making and accountability patterns under NPM was the result of competing efforts by these professional groups to appropriate the “privatized state” to accord with their own institutional logics and interests. While economists advanced a “market” logic, lawyers tried to reproduce the logic of “law” in the post‐bureaucratic setting. The study demonstrates how eventually public law norms were re‐infused into privatized welfare as a result of the increasing institutional power of the lawyers in the regulatory space, along with wider political and social support for the entrenched legalistic mechanisms of the administrative state. However, in addition to the “battle of norms” between lawyers and economists, there were also concessions that led to the redrawing of the boundaries of public law along more functional, rather than formal, lines.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12238   open full text
  • Relational Embeddedness and Socially Motivated Case Screening in the Practice of Law in Rural China.
    Ke Li.
    Law & Society Review. November 07, 2016
    Based on an ethnographic study conducted in rural China, this article demonstrates that relational embeddedness—that is, concrete and durable relationships among law practitioners, clients, adversaries, and the surrounding communities—holds the key to our understandings of the legal profession's case screening. Over the past decade, legal services in rural China have been commodified significantly. Despite that, relationships with extended families, community members, and local political elites have continued to shape law practitioners’ professional decision‐making. By carefully scrutinizing multiplex relationships involved in legal services, law practitioners seek to meet the practical needs of their personal life, and more importantly, to uphold moral obligations derived from communal life. Seen in this light, the practice of law is an integral part of a moral economy in the countryside. Rather than giving rise to a more progressive form of services, the legal profession's participation in this moral economy often reinforces existing power structures in Chinese society. By introducing the concept of relational embeddedness into sociolegal research, this study unpacks the complex consequences of the recent legal reforms in China; it also enriches our theoretical understandings of related concepts, such as social capital, networking, and guanxi in the practice of law.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12235   open full text
  • The European Court of Human Rights, Amicus Curiae, and Violence against Women.
    Rachel A. Cichowski.
    Law & Society Review. November 07, 2016
    Are international courts and advocacy group legal mobilization shaping human rights politics? This question poses a theoretical and empirical challenge to state dominated understandings of international litigation. This article theorizes the interaction between advocacy groups and the European Court of Human Rights and the role this participation plays in the enforcement and development of human rights. The analyses examine institutional factors shaping broad trends in mobilization complemented by two in depth studies examining a single mode of participation, amicus curiae and a single area of law, violence against women. The data identify the critical role standing rules, court review powers and group expertise play in transnational rights mobilization and development. The findings bring into question dominant understandings of international law and contribute to a more complex understanding of law in a global age where international courts and societal actors are shaping the direction of rights protection.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12236   open full text
  • Legally Queer: The Construction of Sexuality in LGBQ Asylum Claims.
    Stefan Vogler.
    Law & Society Review. November 07, 2016
    Using court decisions, interviews with legal actors, and ethnographic observations, this paper analyzes the development of sexual identity classifications for sexual minorities seeking asylum in the United States and argues that the adjudication of such claims works to consolidate and regulate sexual identities but also creates possibilities for recognizing marginalized queer identities. Asylum seekers must prove their sexual identities, and immigration officials must classify claimants as belonging to a protected group. At the inception of queer asylum law in 1990, protected categories were highly circumscribed, but the indeterminacy of the law allowed advocates and asylum seekers to challenge existing categories and stake out new claims based on their sexualities. Against the backdrop of extant criticisms of the asylum process for queers, this paper suggests that the way asylum law has been elaborated, adapted, and interpreted, particularly in approximately the past decade, offers possibilities for making unique identity claims that are not recognized in existing scholarship.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12239   open full text
  • Judicial Impartiality and Independence in Divided Societies: An Empirical Analysis of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia‐Herzegovina.
    Alex Schwartz, Melanie Janelle Murchison.
    Law & Society Review. November 07, 2016
    The role of constitutional courts in deeply divided societies is complicated by the danger that the salient societal cleavages may influence judicial decision‐making and, consequently, undermine judicial impartiality and independence. With reference to the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia‐Herzegovina, this article investigates the influence of ethno‐national affiliation on judicial behaviour and the extent to which variation in judicial tenure amplifies or dampens that influence. Based on a statistical analysis of an original dataset of the Court's decisions, we find that the judges do in fact divide predictably along ethno‐national lines, at least in certain types of cases, and that these divisions cannot be reduced to a residual loyalty to their appointing political parties. Contrary to some theoretical expectations, however, we find that long‐term tenure does little to dampen the influence of ethno‐national affiliation on judicial behaviour. Moreover, our findings suggest that this influence may actually increase as a judge acclimates to the dynamics of a divided court. We conclude by considering how alternative arrangements for the selection and tenure of judges might help to ameliorate this problem.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12237   open full text
  • Undermining Gender Equality: Female Attrition from Private Law Practice.
    Fiona M. Kay, Stacey L. Alarie, Jones K. Adjei.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    The number of women in the legal profession has grown tremendously over the last 40 years, with women now representing about half of all law school graduates. Despite the decades‐long pipeline of women into the profession, women's representation among law firm partnerships remains dismally low. One key reason identified for women's minority presence among law firm partners is the high level of attrition of women associates from law firms. This high rate of female attrition undermines efforts to achieve gender equality in the legal profession. Using a survey of 1,270 law graduates, we employ piecewise constant exponential hazard regression models to explore gendered career paths from private law practice. Our analysis reveals that, for both men and women, the time leading up to partnership decisions sees many lawyers exit private practice, but women continue to leave private practice long after partnership decisions are made. Gender differences in leaving private practice also surface with reference to cohorts, areas of law, billable hours, firm sizes, and career gaps. Notably, working in criminal law augmented women's risk of leaving private practice, but not for men, while taking time away from practice for reasons other than parental leaves, hastens both men's and women's exits from private practice.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12214   open full text
  • Double Whammy: Lay Assessors as Lackeys in Chinese Courts.
    Xin He.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    Primarily drawing on in‐depth interviews with lay assessors and judges in Chinese courts, this study suggests that assessors are little more than lackeys. To determine the role of lay participation in decision making across different jurisdictions, this article proposes two variables. The first is whether lay assessors are separate from, or mixed with, professional judges; the second is whether the regime is democratic or authoritarian. Viewed according to these variables, China's lay‐assessor institution is subject to a double whammy: one, the superior legal knowledge of professional judges and their dominance in procedures, and two, the ultimate control of the regime over judges, who, for self‐protection, firmly control lay assessors. This article advances our understanding of the operation of the Chinese lay‐assessor institution, and more generally the relationship between lay participation and political regimes.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12218   open full text
  • The Influence of Public Sentiment on Supreme Court Opinion Clarity.
    Ryan C. Black, Ryan J. Owens, Justin Wedeking, Patrick C. Wohlfarth.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    We examine whether public opinion leads Supreme Court justices to alter the content of their opinions. We argue that when justices anticipate public opposition to their decisions, they write clearer opinions. We develop a novel measure of opinion clarity based on multifaceted textual readability scores, which we validate using human raters. We examine an aggregate time series analysis of the influence of public mood on opinion clarity and an individual‐level sample of Supreme Court cases paired with issue‐specific public opinion polls. The empirical results from both models show that justices write clearer opinions when their rulings contradict popular sentiment. These results suggest public opinion influences the Court, and suggest that future scholarship should analyze how public opinion influences the written content of decision makers’ policies.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12219   open full text
  • Time and Transcendence: Narrating Higher Authority at the Caribbean Court of Justice.
    Lee Cabatingan.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    This article examines the relationship between time and authority in courts of law. Newness, in particular, poses an obstacle to a court's efforts to establish authority because it tethers the institution to a timeline in which the human origins of the court and the political controversies preceding it are easily recalled. Moreover, the abbreviated timeline necessarily limits the body of legal authority (namely, the number of judgments) that could have been produced. This article asks how a court might establish its authority when faced with such problematic newness. Based on extensive ethnographic research at the Caribbean Court of Justice, I demonstrate how the staff and judges at this relatively young tribunal work to create a narrative in which the Court transcends its own troublesome timeline. They do this by attempting to construct a time‐transcendent principle of Caribbeanness and proffering the Court as a manifestation of this higher authority. The Court's narrative of its timelessness, however, is regularly challenged by far more familiar tales of its becoming, suggesting that in this court, as in all courts, the work of building and maintaining authority is ongoing.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12220   open full text
  • The Role of Courtroom Workgroups in Felony Case Dispositions: An Analysis of Workgroup Familiarity and Similarity.
    Christi Metcalfe.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    While pleading guilty has become ubiquitous in criminal trial courts, limited research has focused on the plea process and the factors that influence guilty plea convictions. Numerous theoretical accounts of the plea process highlight the importance of the court actors and their interactions. Based on this research, the current study analyzes the impact of courtroom actor familiarity and similarity on the chosen mode of disposition and the time to disposition. The findings demonstrate that similarity among the actors and familiarity between the prosecutor and judge increase the odds of a plea disposition and reduce the days to disposition. However, familiarity of the defense attorney seems to impede on the informal plea process, such that cases are more likely to proceed to trial when the defense attorney is more familiar with the other actors.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12217   open full text
  • Is It the What or the How? The Roles of High‐Policing Tactics and Procedural Justice in Predicting Perceptions of Hostile Treatment: The Case of Security Checks at Ben‐Gurion Airport, Israel.
    Tal Jonathan‐Zamir, Badi Hasisi, Yoram Margalioth.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    What affects perceptions of hostile treatment by police, characterized by feelings such as humiliation and intimidation? Is it what the police do to the citizen, or is it about how they do it? The important effects of procedural justice are well documented in the policing literature. Yet, it is not clear how high‐policing tactics, coupled with procedural justice, affect one's sense of hostile treatment: is it the case that what the police do does not matter as long as they follow the principles of procedural justice, or do some invasive or unpleasant tactics produce negative emotions regardless of the amount of procedural justice displayed by the officer? In the present study we examine this question in the context of security checks at Ben‐Gurion Airport, Israel. Using a survey of 1,970 passengers, we find that the behavioral elements of procedural justice are an important antidote, mitigating the negative effects of four “extra” screening measures on the perceived hostility of the checks. At the same time, two security measures retain an independent and significant effect. We discuss the implications of our findings and hypothesize about the characteristics of policing practices that are less sensitive to procedural justice.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12216   open full text
  • Memory Laws: An Escalation in Minority Exclusion or a Testimony to the Limits of State Power?
    Yifat Gutman.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    The article addresses the tension between nation‐state memory and the law through “memory laws.” In contrast to laws that ban genocide denial or a positive perception of a violent past, I focus on laws that ban a negative perception of a violent past. As I will show, these laws were utilized for a non‐democratic purpose in the last decade or more: They were proposed in order to limit public debate on the national past by banning oppositional or minority views, in contrast to the principles of free speech and deliberative democracy. Their legislation in such cases also stands in opposition to truth‐telling efforts in the international arena. I compare two cases of memory legislation, in contemporary Russia and Israel, and evaluate their different impacts on democratic public debates in practice. A third case of “failed legislation” in France compliments the analysis by demonstrating not only the capacity but also the limitation of state power to silence or control public debate using the law. Although national laws often reflect majority culture and memory, I propose that memory laws in Russia, Israel, and France present an escalating degree of minority exclusion—from omission to active banning.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12221   open full text
  • Gendering Justice in Humanitarian Spaces: Opportunity and (Dis)empowerment Through Gender‐Based Legal Development Outreach in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
    Milli Lake, Ilot Muthaka, Gabriella Walker.
    Law & Society Review. July 29, 2016
    Why have women in eastern DR Congo increasingly turned to domestic courts in the aftermath of sexual violence, despite the fact that the state has consistently failed to provide basic goods and services to its citizens? Moreover, how do victims of violence interpret their first encounters with state law in an environment characterized by institutional fragility and humanitarian governance? This article analyzes the experiences and reflections of 50 self‐reported victims of sexual violence in eastern DR Congo. We find that human rights NGOs have served as critical mediators in persuading victims of violence to pursue legal remedy for sexual crimes. However, rather than being socialized to prioritize formal accountability mechanisms in precisely the ways that the architects of legal outreach programs intended, we find that victims of violence have turned to the law for a combination of material and ideational factors. Some appear to have internalized emerging norms of punitive criminal justice, while others have adopted the language of law instrumentally, in order to access crucial socio‐material benefits. We identify a paradox of opportunity and disempowerment, therefore, that characterizes our interviewees' experiences with the law.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12215   open full text
  • Reclaiming the Power to Punish: Legislating and Administrating the California Supermax, 1982–1989.
    Keramet Reiter.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    This article examines how increasingly punitive prison conditions, epitomized by the birth and spread of the supermax prison, developed in the United States. This analysis builds on a growing literature about the “new punitiveness” of U.S. punishment policy and its global proliferation. This article shifts the focus away from the policies that have led to increasing rates of incarceration, however, and toward the policies that have shaped the conditions of incarceration. Drawing on archival research and more than 30 oral history interviews with key informants, I examine the administrative and legislative processes that underwrote the supermax innovation in California in the 1980s. During California's late twentieth‐century prison‐building spree, prison administrators deployed multiple rhetorics of risk to extend their control over conditions of confinement in state prisons. As the state invested billions of dollars in prison building initiatives, legislators, who were focused primarily on building prisons faster, ceded authority over prison design and conditions to prison administrators. In the end, rather than implementing legislative policy, prison administrators initiated their own policies, institutionalizing a new form of “supermax” confinement, pushing at the limits of constitutionally acceptable practices.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12204   open full text
  • Volatile Sovereignty: Governing Crime through the Community in Khayelitsha.
    Gail Super.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    This paper asks what crime prevention looks like for residents in informal settlements in Khayelitsha, a black township on the outskirts of Cape Town. It engages with the idea of vigilantism and hybrid policing formations, analyzing the overlaps and intersections between legal community‐based crime prevention initiatives, and local ‘punitive practices’. The focus is not on the intensely violent spectacle of ‘mob justice’, where suspects are killed, but on the more ubiquitous, hybrid formations that also fall on the vigilantism continuum. These include coercive practices such as banishment, corporal punishment, retrieval of stolen goods by local policing formations and, trials conducted by street committees. The core argument I make is that, at times, particularly in poor areas where the state is absent and encourages citizens to take responsibility for their own crime prevention, the boundary between legality and coercive illegality collapses in on itself. Thus, the notion of voluntarism, that is so important to official discourse on crime, is particularly problematic when applied in poor communities with high rates of unemployment and high crime rates. As such, the state's encouraging of citizens to take responsibility for their own safety, alongside a punitive state discourse on crime and criminality, creates the space for illegal vigilante style actions to emerge in the shadow of legal crime prevention initiatives.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12198   open full text
  • Privacy, CCTV, and School Surveillance in the Shadow of Imagined Law.
    Lotem Perry‐Hazan, Michael Birnhack.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    How do managers make decisions that affect human rights of other people? The article examines one such case: the decision‐making process of Israeli school principals in installing Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) systems in schools. One unexpected source that principals relied on was that of imagined law: they wrongly assumed that there was a law that guided them in the matter. The deployment of CCTV systems in Israeli schools is relatively new and takes place at an accelerated pace. School principals are the ones that make the decision about introducing such systems into their schools. The study traced and explored this process. Based on semi‐structured interviews, the findings portray a picture of partial isomorphism among schools. We frame the findings within institutional theory, which differentiates between exogenous and endogenous sources of decision‐making. Most school principals relied on endogenous sources that were shaped by practical considerations and their own perceptions as to security, privacy, and education. Yet, the interviews indicate an additional and surprising source of organizational decision‐making: imagined law. Some of the principals assumed the existence of specific legal rules. The principals did not search for professional guidance, and did not consult others. Instead, they filled the imagined law with endogenous sources, namely, their own perceptions.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12202   open full text
  • Strategic Anticipation of En Banc Review in the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
    Rachael K. Hinkle.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    The quest for empirical evidence of strategic judicial behavior has produced mixed results. This study finds such evidence in the decisions made while crafting an opinion. Central to any opinion is which precedents are cited and whether their scope is limited (negative treatment) or expanded (positive treatment). I look for evidence of strategic anticipation of en banc review in these decisions using an original dataset of published search and seizure cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeals from 1953 to 2010. A panel is less likely to negatively treat a precedent with which the full circuit is more closely aligned. Circuit preferences also have an effect on citation itself, but only when the panel is at least moderately aligned with a precedent. Moreover, the panel's own ideology is only a significant predictor of citation when the full circuit is favorably disposed toward a particular precedent.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12199   open full text
  • Facts, Preferences, and Doctrine: An Empirical Analysis of Proportionality Judgment.
    Raanan Sulitzeanu‐Kenan, Mordechai Kremnitzer, Sharon Alon.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    Legal proportionality is one of the most important principles for adjudicating among conflicting values. However, rather little is known about the factors that play a role in the formation of proportionality judgments. This research presents the first empirical analysis in this regard, relying on a sample of 331 legal experts (lawyers and legal academics). The policy domain addressed by the experiment is the antiterrorist military practice of targeted killings, which has been the subject of a legal debate. Our experimental findings suggest that proportionality judgments are receptive to normatively relevant facts. We also find strong correlational evidence for the effect of ideological preferences on such judgments. These results are consistent for two proportionality doctrines. We suggest that proportionality judgment is anchored jointly in the experts’ policy preferences and the facts of the case. We outline the implications of the findings for the psychological and legal literature.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12203   open full text
  • Situational Trust: How Disadvantaged Mothers Reconceive Legal Cynicism.
    Monica C. Bell.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    Research has shown that legal cynicism is pervasive among residents of poor, black neighborhoods. However, controlling for crime rates, these residents call police at higher rates than whites and residents of middle‐class neighborhoods, and ethnographic research suggests that mothers in particular sometimes exact social control over partners and children through police notification. Given these findings, how might researchers better understand how legal cynicism and occasional reliance on police fit together? Drawing on interviews with poor African‐American mothers in Washington, DC, this article develops an alternative conception of cultural orientations about law: situational trust. This concept emphasizes micro‐level dynamism in cultural conceptions of the police, expanding the literature on police trust by emphasizing situational contingency. Mothers deploy at least four alternative strategies that produce moments of trust: officer exceptionalism, domain specificity, therapeutic consequences, and institutional navigation. These strategies shed light on the contextual meanings of safety and legitimacy.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12200   open full text
  • Becoming “Copwise”: Policing, Culture, and the Collateral Consequences of Street‐Level Criminalization.
    Forrest Stuart.
    Law & Society Review. May 06, 2016
    Over the last four decades, the United States has witnessed a historic expansion of its criminal justice system. This article examines how street‐level criminalization transforms the cultural contexts of poor urban communities. Drawing on five years of fieldwork in Los Angeles’ Skid Row–the site of one of the most aggressive zero‐tolerance policing campaigns to date–the study finds that residents develop and deploy a particular cultural frame–“cop wisdom”–by which they render seemingly‐random police activity more legible, predictable, and manipulable. Armed with this interpretive schema, “copwise” residents engage in new forms of self‐presentation in public, movement through the daily round, and informal social control in order to deflect police scrutiny and forestall street stops. While these techniques allow residents to reduce unwanted police contact, this often comes at the expense of individual and collective well‐being by precluding social interaction, exacerbating stigma, and contributing to animosity in public space.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12201   open full text
  • Faith in the Court: Religious Out‐Groups and the Perceived Legitimacy of Judicial Decisions.
    Andre P. Audette, Christopher L. Weaver.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    The question of whether judges’ personal characteristics and values bias their decision making has long been debated, yet far less attention has been given to how personal characteristics affect public perceptions of bias in their decision making. Even genuinely objective judges may be perceived as procedurally biased by the public. We hypothesize that membership in a religious out‐group will elicit stronger public perceptions of biased decision making. Using a survey experiment that varies a judge's religious orientation and ruling in a hypothetical Establishment Clause case, we find strong evidence that judges’ religious characteristics affect the perceived legitimacy of their decisions. Identifying a judge as an atheist (a religious out‐group) decreases trust in the court, while identifying the judge as a committed Christian has no bearing on legitimacy. These results are even stronger among respondents who report attending church more often. Thus, we argue that perceptions of bias are conditioned on judges’ in‐group/out‐group status.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12167   open full text
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Clerk Training and the Success of Supreme Court Certiorari Petitions.
    William D. Blake, Hans J. Hacker, Shon R. Hopwood.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    We investigate why the Supreme Court grants a smaller percentage of cases at the first conference of each term compared to other conferences. According to received wisdom, Supreme Court law clerks are overly cautious at the beginning of their tenure because they receive only a brief amount of training. Reputational concerns motivate clerks to provide fewer recommendations to grant review in cert. pool memos written over the summer months. Using a random sample of petitions from the Blackmun Archives, we code case characteristics, clerk recommendation, and the Court's decision on cert. Nearest neighbor matching suggests clerks are 36 percent less likely to recommend grants in their early cert. pool memos. Because of this temporal discrepancy, petitions arriving over the summer have a 16 percent worse chance of being granted by the Court. This seasonal variation in access to the Court's docket imposes a legally irrelevant burden on litigants who have little control over the timing of their appeal.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12165   open full text
  • Birth Order, Preferences, and Norms on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Kevin T. McGuire.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    The members of the U.S. Supreme Court have different ideas about what constitutes good judicial policy as well as how best to achieve that policy. From where do these ideas originate? Evolutionary psychology suggests that an answer may lie in early life experiences in which siblings assume roles that affect an adult's likely acceptance of changes in the established order. According to this view, older siblings take on responsibilities that make them more conservative and rule‐bound, while younger ones adopt roles that promote liberalism and greater rebelliousness. Applying this theory to the Court, I show that these childhood roles manifest themselves in later life in the decisions of the justices. Birth order explains not only the justices’ policy preferences but also their acceptance of one important norm of judicial decisionmaking, specifically their willingness to exercise judicial review.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12169   open full text
  • The Influence of Amicus Curiae Briefs on U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Content.
    Paul M. Collins, Pamela C. Corley, Jesse Hamner.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    We address fundamental questions about the ability of interest groups to shape public policy by examining the influence of amicus curiae briefs on U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion content. We argue that the justices will incorporate language from amicus briefs into their opinions based on the extent to which the amicus briefs contribute to their ability to make effective law and policy. Using plagiarism detection software and other forms of computer assisted content analysis, we find that the justices adopt language from amicus briefs based primarily on the quality of the brief's argument, the level of repetition in the brief, the ideological position advocated in the brief, and the identity of the amicus. These results add fresh insight into how interest groups influence the development of federal law by the Supreme Court.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12166   open full text
  • Sentencing and State‐Level Racial and Ethnic Contexts.
    Xia Wang, Daniel P. Mears.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    Sentencing studies have incorporated social context in studying sentencing decisions, but to date the bulk of prior work has focused almost exclusively on county context. An unresolved question is whether there also may be state‐level effects on sentencing. Drawing from the minority threat perspective, we examine (1) whether state‐level racial and ethnic contexts affect sentencing, (2) whether this effect amplifies the effect of county‐level racial and ethnic contexts on sentencing, and (3) whether the interaction of county‐level and state‐level contextual effects is greater for minorities than for whites. Analysis of State Court Processing Statistics and other data indicates that state‐level racial and ethnic contexts are associated with sentencing outcomes and that this effect may differ by outcome (e.g., incarceration versus sentence length) and by type of context (e.g., racial or ethnic). The study's findings and their implications are discussed.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12164   open full text
  • The Law‐Before: Legacies and Gaps in Penal Reform.
    Anjuli Verma.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    This article introduces the law‐before as an analytic tool for enhancing explanations of legal reform. Based on an integration of neo‐institutional law and organizations studies and punishment studies of local variation in penal policy, I define the law‐before as the past organizational practices and power arrangements that precede law‐on‐the‐books and shape present day implementation. I utilize the law‐before as a heuristic to investigate the legacy effects of variations in local practice on the implementation of the prison downsizing law, AB 109, or “Realignment,” in California. I analyze organizational documents produced by county practitioners in the aftermath of AB 109's enactment in 2011 as empirical windows into how actors shape the meaning of law in local settings. I find that practitioners in counties with divergent historical imprisonment patterns enact four processes (overwriting or underwriting law, selective magnification, and selective siting) to arrive at distinct interpretations of AB 109 as mandating system‐wide decarceration or the relocation of incarceration from state prisons to county jails. Although my data do not speak to the ultimate implementation of AB 109, the processes revealed have practical implications for the reform goal of decarceration by rationalizing distinct resource allocations at an early stage in the implementation process.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12163   open full text
  • Policing the Anticommunity: Race, Deterritorialization, and Labor Market Reorganization in South Los Angeles.
    Aaron Roussell.
    Law & Society Review. October 28, 2015
    Recent decades have seen the rise of both community partnerships and the carceral state. Community policing in Los Angeles arose after the 1992 uprisings and was built on two conceptual building blocks—the territorial imperative and community partnership—which remain central more than 20 years later. At the same time, LA has undergone a significant black‐to‐Latino demographic shift linked with its restructured economy. This article discusses these changes using archival analysis and 5 years of participant observation in one South LA precinct. Police help to reshape the demography of South LA in ways conducive to post‐Fordist economic shifts. The “community” concept appropriated by urban governance initiatives is composed against an unwanted “anticommunity,” which serves to heighten territorial control over black and Latino residents. Rather than encourage community cogovernance over the institution of policing, community rhetoric facilitates racial preference in neighborhood transition under the auspices of an increasingly bifurcated labor market.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12168   open full text
  • Do Rich and Poor Behave Similarly in Seeking Legal Advice? Lessons from Taiwan in Comparative Perspective.
    Kuo‐Chang Huang, Chang‐Ching Lin, Kong‐Pin Chen.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    A central concern of access‐to‐justice studies is whether the socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals can obtain effective assistance in dealing with their legal problems. Using the newly collected data from the 2011 Taiwan Survey, this article examines Taiwanese people's advice‐seeking behavior in general and explores the effect of income in particular. This article finds that income had a significantly positive correlation with the likelihood of obtaining legal advice, but it has no impact on obtaining nonlegal advice. By contrast, education had little bearing on the decision to obtain legal advice, but it had a positive influence on seeking nonlegal advice. This article argues that although the gravity of problem was more influential than income on obtaining legal advice, the effect of income should not be easily dismissed. Moreover, the contrasting effect of education on obtaining nonlegal advice strongly suggests that its use was determined by people's knowledge of its existence and capability of accessing such service. To improve the disadvantaged's access to justice, care should be taken not only to increase publicly funded legal advice services but also to enhance the public's awareness of their availability.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12055   open full text
  • Unfounding Sexual Assault: Examining the Decision to Unfound and Identifying False Reports.
    Cassia Spohn, Clair White, Katharine Tellis.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    One of the most controversial—and least understood—issues in the area of sexual violence is the prevalence of false reports of rape. Estimates of the rate of false reports vary widely, which reflects differences in way false reports are defined and in the methods that researchers use to identify them. We address this issue using a mixed methods approach that incorporates quantitative and qualitative data on sexual assault cases that were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2008 and qualitative data from interviews with LAPD detectives assigned to investigate reports of sexual assault. We found that the LAPD was clearing cases as unfounded appropriately most, but not all, of the time and we estimated that the rate of false reports among cases reported to the LAPD was 4.5 percent. We also found that although complainant recantation was the strongest predictor of the unfounding decision, other factors indicative of the seriousness of the incident and the credibility of the victim also played a role. We interpret these findings using an integrated theoretical perspective that incorporates both Black's sociological theory of law and Steffensmeier, Ulmer, and Kramer's focal concerns perspective.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12060   open full text
  • Jurisdiction, Crime, and Development: The Impact of Public Law 280 in Indian Country.
    Valentina Dimitrova‐Grajzl, Peter Grajzl, A. Joseph Guse.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    Public Law 280 transferred jurisdiction over criminal and civil matters from the federal to state governments and increased the extent of nontribal law enforcement in selected parts of Indian country. Where enacted, the law fundamentally altered the preexisting legal order. Public Law 280 thus provides a unique opportunity to study the impact of legal institutions and their change on socioeconomic outcomes. The law's controversial content has attracted interest from legal scholars. However, empirical studies of its impact are scarce and do not address the law's endogenous nature. We examine the law's impact on crime and on economic development in U.S. counties with significant American‐Indian reservation population. To address the issue of selection of areas subject to Public Law 280, our empirical strategy draws on the law's politico‐historical context. We find that the application of Public Law 280 increased crime and lowered incomes. The law's adverse impact is robust and noteworthy in magnitude.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12054   open full text
  • The Costs and Benefits of American Policy‐Making Venues.
    Aaron J. Ley.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    Many law and policy scholars consider judges inimical to good public policymaking, and the criticisms they level on the judiciary implicitly reflect some of the concerns raised by Alexander Bickel and other critics. Despite the charge by critics that judges are institutionally ill equipped to participate in the policy‐making process and that legal processes are costly, there are reasons to believe otherwise. This article uses field interviews and three case studies of an environmental dispute in the Pacific Northwest to show that the judiciary can be an institutional venue that enhances public input, can be more inclusive than other venues, and produces positive‐sum outcomes when other venues cannot. The findings also suggest that legislative and agency policymaking are just as contentious and costly as judicial policy‐making processes.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12059   open full text
  • The Impact of Supreme Court Activity on the Judicial Agenda.
    Douglas Rice.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    When the Supreme Court takes action, it establishes national policy within an issue area. A traditional, legal view holds that the decisions of the Court settle questions of law and thereby close the door on future litigation, reducing the need for future attention to that issue. Alternatively, an emerging interest group perspective suggests the Court, in deciding cases, provides signals that encourage additional attention to particular issues. I examine these competing perspectives of what happens in the federal courts after Supreme Court decisions. My results indicate that while Supreme Court decisions generally settle areas of law in terms of overall litigation rates, they also introduce new information that leads to increases in the attention of judges and interest groups to those particular issues.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12056   open full text
  • The (Dis)Advantage of Certainty: The Importance of Certainty in Language.
    Pamela C. Corley, Justin Wedeking.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    How can legal decision makers increase the likelihood of a favorable response from other legal and social actors? To answer this, we propose a novel theory based on the certainty expressed in language that is applicable to many different legal contexts. The theory is grounded in psychology and legal advocacy and suggests that expressing certainty enhances the persuasiveness of a message. We apply this theory to the principal–agent framework to examine the treatment of Supreme Court precedent by the Federal Courts of Appeal. We find that as the level of certainty in the Supreme Court's opinion increases, the lower courts are more likely to positively treat the Court's decision. We then discuss the implications of our findings for using certainty in a broader context.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12058   open full text
  • Karl Renner and (Intellectual) Property—How Cognitive Theory Can Enrich a Sociolegal Analysis of Contemporary Copyright.
    Stefan Larsson.
    Law & Society Review. January 27, 2014
    This article deals with copyright regulation meeting the quite rapid societal changes associated with digitization, and it does so by reinterpreting Karl Renner's classical texts in the light of contemporary cognitive theory of conceptual metaphors and embodiment. From a cognitive theory perspective, I focus on the notion that the legal norms only appear to be unchanged—the Renner distinction between form and function. This includes social norms, technological development, and changes in social structures in general, which create a social and cognitive reinterpretation of law. This article, therefore, analyzes the contemporary push for copyright as property, which I relate to historical claims for copyright as property as well as de facto legal revisions in intellectual property faced with the challenges of digitization. Of particular relevance here is what Renner described in terms of property as an “institution of domination and control,” and thus the increased measures for control that are added to a digital context in the name of copyright.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12057   open full text
  • The Hand of the Ancestors: Time, Cultural Production, and Intellectual Property Law.
    Boatema Boateng.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    In successfully lobbying for the expansion of the copyright protection term, culture industries in the United States have used one of the temporal dimensions of intellectual property law to strengthen their control over the circulation of cultural goods. There is another less obvious way that time factors into the regulation of cultural products, and this has to do with the modes of temporality within which those products are made and their circulation regulated. In Ghana, where certain cultural products are protected as “folklore” under copyright law, cultural goods from one kind of temporality enter a regulatory framework that belongs to another. In this article, I examine these two ways of organizing time and argue that differences in ways of conceptualizing time also factor into the exercise of power over cultural products. I further argue that the Ghanaian case provides resources for radically rethinking intellectual property law.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12053   open full text
  • Addition by Subtraction? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Deportation Efforts on Violent Crime.
    Jacob I. Stowell, Steven F. Messner, Michael S. Barton, Lawrence E. Raffalovich.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    Contemporary criminological research on immigration has focused largely on one aspect of the immigration process, namely, the impact of in‐migration (i.e., presence or arrival) of foreign‐born individuals on crime. A related but understudied aspect of the immigration process is the impact that the removal of certain segments of the foreign‐born population, and specifically undocumented or deportable aliens, has on aggregate levels of criminal violence. In an effort to cast new light on the association between forced out‐flows of immigrants and crime, we begin with descriptive analyses of patterns of deportation activity across the continental United States over an eleven‐year period (1994–2004). We then examine the relationship between deportation activity and violent crime rates in a multilevel framework wherein Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are situated within border patrol sectors. The results of dynamic regression modeling indicate that changing levels of deportation activity are unrelated to changing levels of criminal violence for the sample of MSAs for the national at large. However, we also detect significant interactions by geographic location for selected violent offenses. For MSAs within sectors along the Mexican border, the deportation measure exhibits a significant negative effect on one indicator of criminal violence—the aggravated assault rate. For MSAs within non‐border sectors, the effect of the deportation measures is significantly positive for the violence crime index and the aggravated assault rate. Overall, our analyses indicate that the relationship between deportation and criminal violence is complex and dependent on local context.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12042   open full text
  • Human Rights Prosecutions and the Participation Rights of Victims in Latin America.
    Verónica Michel, Kathryn Sikkink.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    Since the 1980s, there has been a significant rise in domestic and international efforts to enforce individual criminal accountability for human rights violations through trials, but we still lack complete explanations for the emergence of this trend and the variation observed in the use of human rights prosecutions in the world. In this article, we examine the role that procedural law has had in allowing societal actors to influence in this rising trend for individual criminal accountability. We do this by focusing on participation rights granted to victims, such as private prosecution in criminal cases. Based on an exploration of an original database on human rights prosecutions in Latin America and fieldwork research in three countries, we argue that private prosecution is the key causal mechanism that allows societal actors to fight in domestic courts for individual criminal accountability for human rights violations.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12040   open full text
  • What Happens to Law in a Refugee Camp?
    Elizabeth Holzer.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    How do people living in a refugee camp engage with legal practices, discourses, and institutions? Critics argue that refugee camps leave people in “legal limbo” depriving them of the “right to have rights” despite the presence of international humanitarian actors and the entitlements enshrined in international law. For that reason, refugee camps have become a highly visible symbol of failed human rights campaigns. In contrast, I found in an ethnography of the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, West Africa, that although people living as refugees faced chronic insecurity and injustice, they engaged extensively with several different facets of the law. I illuminate three interrelated dimensions of their experiences: (1) their development as international legal subjects; (2) their alienation from domestic legal institutions; and (3) their agency within the legal field. The article contributes to the research agenda on law in humanitarian settings an empirically grounded account of the subjective dimensions of legal alienation and mobilization in a refugee camp. More broadly, it contributes to international human rights debates by theorizing a mixed outcome of international human rights campaigns: the emergence of wards of international law, people deeply embedded in the international legal system, but alienated from local law.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12041   open full text
  • Legislating Change? Responses to Criminalizing Female Genital Cutting in Senegal.
    Bettina Shell‐Duncan, Katherine Wander, Ylva Hernlund, Amadou Moreau.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    Although the international community has recently promoted legislation as an important reform strategy for ending female genital cutting (FGC), there exist divergent views on its potential effects. Supporters argue that legal prohibition of FGC has a general deterrent effect, while others argue legislation can be perceived as coercive, and derail local efforts to end the practice. This study examines the range of responses observed in rural Senegal, where a 1999 anti‐FGC law was imposed on communities in which the practice was being actively contested and targeted for elimination. Drawing on data from a mixed‐methods study, we analyze responses in relation to two leading theories on social regulation, the law and economics and law and society paradigms, which make divergent predictions on the interplay between social norms and legal norms. Among supporters of FGC, legal norms ran counter to social norms, and did little to deter the practice, and in some instances incited reactance or drove the practice underground. Conversely, where FGC was being contested, legislation served to strengthen the stance of those contemplating or favoring abandonment. We conclude that legislation can complement other reform strategies by creating an “enabling environment” that supports those who have or wish to abandon FGC.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12044   open full text
  • Liberal Rights versus Islamic Law? The Construction of a Binary in Malaysian Politics.
    Tamir Moustafa.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    Why are liberal rights and Islamic law understood in binary and exclusivist terms at some moments, but not others? In this study, I trace when, why, and how an Islamic law versus liberal rights binary emerged in Malaysian political discourse and popular legal consciousness. I find that Malaysian legal institutions were hardwired to produce vexing legal questions, which competing groups of activists transformed into compelling narratives of injustice. By tracing the development of this spectacle in the courtroom and beyond, I show how the dueling binaries of liberal rights versus Islamic law, individual rights versus collective rights, and secularism versus religion were contingent on institutional design and political agency, rather than irreconcilable tensions between liberal rights and the Islamic legal tradition in some intrinsic sense. More broadly, the research contributes to our understanding of how popular legal consciousness is shaped by legal mobilization and countermobilization beyond the court of law.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12045   open full text
  • Primetime Dispute Resolution: Reality TV Mediation Shows in China's “Harmonious Society”.
    Colin S. Hawes, Shuyu Kong.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    Through a case study of reality TV mediation shows, this article joins the debate about the recent promotion of formal and informal mediation by the Chinese government, what some scholars have called a “turn against law” (Minzner 2011). We identify three converging reasons for the sudden popularity of mediation shows on Chinese primetime television: (1) the desire of TV producers to commercially exploit interpersonal conflicts without fanning the flames of social instability; (2) the demands of official censors for TV programming promoting a “harmonious society”; and (3) the requirement for courts and other government institutions to publicly demonstrate their support for mediation as the most “appropriate” method for resolving interpersonal and neighborhood disputes. Cases drawn from two top‐rated mediation shows demonstrate how they privilege morality and “human feeling” (ganqing) over narrow application of the law. Such shows could be viewed merely as a form of propaganda, what Nader has called a “harmony ideology”—an attempt by the government to suppress the legitimate expression of social conflict. Yet while recognizing that further political, social, and legal reforms are necessary to address the root causes of social conflict in China, we conclude that TV mediation shows can help to educate viewers about the benefits and drawbacks of mediation for resolving certain narrow kinds of domestic and neighborhood disputes.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12046   open full text
  • Above the Roof, Beneath the Law: Perceived Justice behind Disruptive Tactics of Migrant Wage Claimants in China.
    Xin He, Lungang Wang, Yang Su.
    Law & Society Review. October 21, 2013
    The way in which citizens in developing countries conceptualize legality is a critical but understudied question for legal consciousness and legal mobilization studies. Drawing on participatory observations and extensive interviews from western China, this article explores the subjective interpretations of migrant wage claimants on law and justice behind their disruptive actions. Their perception of justice differs starkly from what the law stipulates as target, evidence and proper procedures. Who shall be held responsible? What constitutes evidence? When shall they be paid? How much? Their perceptions also differ from the attitude “against the law” found among members from disadvantaged social groups in the United States. The Chinese case of legal perception is shaped by the moral precepts ingrained in the culture, and more importantly, by the lopsided relationship between migrant workers and the political and business elite. It thus points to the daunting barriers in channeling the ever‐growing number of social conflicts into court.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12043   open full text
  • Basketball in the Key of Law: The Significance of Disputing in Pick‐Up Basketball.
    Michael DeLand.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    While the conception of law as a constructive and constitutive force is often stated, we have relatively few concrete and grounded case studies showing precisely where and how social actors construct the meaning of their engagements through the invocation of legality. Drawing on Erving Goffman's Frame Analysis (1974), I use the concept of “keying” to articulate how basketball players in informal “pick‐up” games transform the meaning of their activity through disputing. By playing in a legalistic way, players constitute the game as “real” and “serious” rather than “mere play.” The analysis tracks basketball players in the heat of action as they perceive the game, call rule violations, contest those violations, and ultimately give up. Players organize each phase of the dispute's natural history in the “key of law” by constructing and comparing cases, invoking and interpreting rules, setting precedent, arguing over procedure, and proposing solutions. Through these practices, players infuse the game with rich meaning and generate the motivational context demanding that the game be treated as significant. This analysis contributes to an understanding of legal ontology that envisions law's essence as potentiating rather than repairing normative social life.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12034   open full text
  • The Privatization of Public Safety in Urban Neighborhoods: Do Business Improvement Districts Reduce Violent Crime Among Adolescents?
    John MacDonald, Robert J. Stokes, Ben Grunwald, Ricky Bluthenthal.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    The business improvement district (BID) is a popular economic development and urban revitalization model in which local property and business owners must pay an assessment tax that funds supplementary services, including private security. BIDs constitute a controversial form of urban revitalization to some because they privatize economic development and public safety efforts in public space. This study examines whether BIDs provide tangible benefits beyond their immediate boundaries to local residents in the form of reduced violence among adolescents. The empirical analysis advances an existing literature dominated by evaluation studies by introducing a theoretically driven dataset with rich information on individual and neighborhood level variables. The analysis compares violent victimization among youths living in BID neighborhoods with those in similarly situated non‐BID neighborhoods. We find no effect of BIDs on violence. However, we do find that youth violence is strongly correlated with neighborhood collective efficacy and family‐related attributes of social control. In conclusion, we argue that BIDs may be an agent of crime reduction, but this benefit is likely concentrated only in their immediate boundaries and does not extend to youths living in surrounding neighborhoods.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12029   open full text
  • When Do Laws Matter? National Minimum‐Age‐of‐Marriage Laws, Child Rights, and Adolescent Fertility, 1989–2007.
    Minzee Kim, Wesley Longhofer, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Hollie Nyseth Brehm.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    Using the case of adolescent fertility, we ask the questions of whether and when national laws have an effect on outcomes above and beyond the effects of international law and global organizing. To answer these questions, we utilize a fixed‐effect time‐series regression model to analyze the impact of minimum‐age‐of‐marriage laws in 115 poor‐ and middle‐income countries from 1989 to 2007. We find that countries with strict laws setting the minimum age of marriage at 18 experienced the most dramatic decline in rates of adolescent fertility. Trends in countries that set this age at 18 but allowed exceptions (for example, marriage with parental consent) were indistinguishable from countries that had no such minimum‐age‐of‐marriage law. Thus, policies that adhere strictly to global norms are more likely to elicit desired outcomes. The article concludes with a discussion of what national law means in a diffuse global system where multiple actors and institutions make the independent effect of law difficult to identify.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12033   open full text
  • Conceptualizing Semi‐Legality in Migration Research.
    Agnieszka Kubal.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    What is semi‐legality, and why does it offer a viable alternative to the legality–illegality binary divide? Semi‐legality, as a heuristic device, is useful to frame the various “in‐between” statuses and not resorting to illegality every time ambiguities arise as this casts the net of potential fraud far too wide. It could be viewed as a multidimensional space where migrants' formal relationships with the state interact with their various forms of agency toward the law. As a sensitizing theoretical perspective, it helps to explain why many neoliberal regimes, which claim that law and order are the main features distinguishing them from others, actually engage in perpetuating the legally ambiguous modes of incorporation. Delineating the conditions of semi‐legality, I use data from 360 qualitative interviews with migrants in four European countries. I discuss: (1) “incomplete” responses to regularization programs (amnesties) – de facto fulfilling the legalization conditions, yet facing barriers to formally (de jure) corroborate this; (2) balancing between the temporality of residence in various EU countries—under‐staying in some and overstaying in others; and (3) the nexus with employment—where migrants' residence in a country is lawful, but their work exceeds the restrictions permitted by their visas.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12031   open full text
  • Taking Hold of the Wheel: Automobility, Social Order, and the Law in Mexico's Public Registry of Vehicles (REPUVE).
    Keith Guzik.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    Across the globe, governments are implementing electronic vehicle registration programs capable of locating automobiles instantaneously. In order to understand the impact of such programs on contemporary governance, this article draws upon the extant literature on automobility, law and society and science and technology studies theory, and data collected from Mexico, where the government has been implementing the Public Registry of Vehicles (REPUVE). The central argument of the article rests on three concepts. First, the automobile has recurrently served as a disruptive technology in modern society, a technology whose adoption unsettles the social order by drawing users away from their usual modes of social interaction. In response, state authorities over the course of the twentieth century created a collection of legal rules, actors, and institutions designed to take hold of the wheel. By penetrating automobility with law, the state transformed the car into a legal enactment device, a technology whose operation pushes people to enact the law and, in so doing, constitutes the sociolegal order. In Mexico, a host of forces have conspired to weaken the state's hold on the wheel. The REPUVE promises to change this by “delegating” policing duties to radio‐frequency identification stickers affixed to vehicles and scanners placed on roadways. Rather than enforcing the law through corruptible humans sanctioning irresponsible drivers, the REPUVE opens the possibility of doing so through a “surveillant assemblage” denying roadway access to suspicious vehicles. In the REPUVE then, the automobile passes from a legal enactment device, a technology whose operation pushes users to enact the law, to a legal prescription device, a technology whose operation requires them to do so. By demonstrating the role of vehicular regulation in the “mutual becoming” of society and technology, this study contributes to the growing research on the intersection of law and technology and provides a glimpse into the changing nature of legal power in the contemporary state.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12032   open full text
  • Paradoxes of Urban Housing Informality in the Developing World.
    Jean‐Louis Gelder.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    This article addresses a series of paradoxes regarding informal settlements in cities in the developing world and their relation with the legal system. The first paradox regards the penalization of illegal land occupations on the one hand versus the legalization of that same practice on the other. Second, it looks at the relationship between land occupations as systematic violations of property rights, but with the goal of forming new property rights and thus paradoxically supporting private property as a substantive principle. Third, the reasoning behind the fact that the same system that denies legal access to housing for poor sectors simultaneously attempts to incorporate informal settlements in an ad hoc manner through legalization schemes is examined. It is shown that there is a logic to these paradoxes, which, although contradictory from standard legal perspectives, can be accommodated within a theoretical framework that distinguishes an internal normative order operating within informal settlements, from the state legal system, operative outside it. The proposed framework not only settles the paradoxes, but, this article concludes, can also guide attempts to deal with the enormous anticipated growth of informality in the developing world.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12030   open full text
  • Legal Emotions: An Ethnography of Distrust and Fear in the Arab Districts of an Israeli City.
    Silvia Pasquetti.
    Law & Society Review. July 22, 2013
    Recent sociolegal scholarship has explored the role of emotions in lawmaking and policymaking on security and crime issues. This article extends this approach to the relationship between law enforcement and affect by addressing the role of policing and security agencies in the (re)production of long‐term emotions, which bind a collective and fuel ethnonational division. An ethnography of the distinct emotional climate within the Arab districts of Lod, an Israeli city, shows that this climate is structured by two emotions: rampant distrust toward friends and neighbors, and intense fear of the Israeli authorities. This emotional climate is the product of the subterranean ties of Lod Palestinians with the Israeli security agencies as well as their experiences of the blurred line between state security and crime control enforcement. I embed the initial creation and relative stability of this emotional climate in the broader relationship between the Israeli state and its Palestinian citizens from 1948 to the present. The article concludes with a discussion of how the law enforcement's affective production has consequences for the salience and scope of citizenship and by arguing for a greater focus on the link between law enforcement, collective emotions, and processes of inclusion and exclusion.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lasr.12028   open full text