Law & Society Review

Publication date:

Latest documents

  • The Global Adoption of National Policies Protecting Children from Violent Discipline in Schools and Homes, 1950–2011

    With a focus on the relationship between women's and children's rights and theories of globalization, we conduct an event history analysis of more than 150 countries between 1950 and 2011 to assess the factors associated with policies banning corporal punishment in schools and homes. Our research reveals that formal condemnation of corporal punishment in schools is becoming a global norm; policies banning corporal punishment in the home, in contrast, are being adopted more slowly. We find that the percentage of women in parliament is associated with the adoption of anti‐corporal punishment policies in both schools and homes, suggesting a nexus between women's and children's issues. Countries with more ethnic diversity are slower to adopt home policies, however. We propose that minority groups in these countries may be resistant to laws because of the risk of selective or prejudicial enforcement. In terms of globalization, more aid is associated with both school and home policies, and countries that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child are more likely to adopt home policies. Surprisingly, international nongovernmental organizations are not significantly associated with either type of policy adoption.

  • The Role of Emotion in Land Regulation: An Empirical Study of Online Advocacy in Authoritarian Asia

    Scholarly interest about online advocacy in authoritarian settings is rapidly growing. With one of Asia's most active social media, Vietnam offers a promising site to investigate how online advocates navigate around state censorship to influence regulatory decisionmaking. Much research about online advocacy focuses on rational discourse, and fails to ask why satire and ridicule can change regulatory outcomes when reasoned debate fails. This article considers two cases studies where online advocates changed regulatory outcomes in Vietnam. It investigates why the regulators were sensitive to moral censure in social media, and responded to appeals for solidarity, but were reluctant to engage in rational public deliberation. These findings reveal insights into how online advocacy can trigger emotional responses in officials that transform the regulatory environment. The article concludes that rather than constituting cognitive missteps, emotions are integral to government regulation in Vietnam.

  • Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury. By Anna Kirkland. New York: New York University Press, 2016.
  • “It Depends on the Outcome”: Prisoners, Grievances, and Perceptions of Justice

    Social scientists have long investigated the social, cultural, and psychological forces that shape perceptions of fairness. A vast literature on procedural justice advances a central finding: the process by which a dispute is played out is central to people's perceptions of fairness and their satisfaction with dispute outcomes. There is, however, one glaring gap in the literature. In this era of mass incarceration, studies of how the incarcerated weigh procedural justice versus substantive justice are rare. This article addresses this gap by drawing on unique quantitative and qualitative data, including face‐to‐face interviews with a random sample of men incarcerated in three California prisons and official data provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Our mixed‐methods analysis reveals that these prisoners privilege the actual outcomes of disputes as their barometer of justice. We argue that the dominance of substantive outcomes in these men's perceptions of fairness and in their dispute satisfaction is grounded in, among other things, the high stakes of the prison context, an argument that is confirmed by our data. These findings do not refute the importance of procedural justice, but show the power of institutional context to structure perceptions of and responses to fairness, one of the most fundamental principles of social life.

  • How Litigants in Dutch Courtrooms Come to Trust Judges: The Role of Perceived Procedural Justice, Outcome Favorability, and Other Sociolegal Moderators

    This paper examines the hypothesis that litigants' perceived procedural justice is positively associated with their trust in judges. We argue that although this association might seem quite robust, it can vary across contexts. In particular, we suggest that the nature and magnitude of the association between procedural justice and trust in judges depends on outcome concerns, and other sociolegal moderators such as outcome importance and prior court experience. We tested our predictions in three different types of law cases among 483 litigants at court hearings of the district court of the Mid‐Netherlands. As predicted, our results indicate that perceived procedural justice was positively associated with trust in judges when outcomes were relatively favorable, and that this association was even stronger when outcomes were relatively unfavorable. The courtroom context studied here enabled us to explore how other sociolegal variables moderated these relationships.

  • Why Police “Couldn't or Wouldn't” Submit Sexual Assault Kits for Forensic DNA Testing: A Focal Concerns Theory Analysis of Untested Rape Kits

    In jurisdictions throughout United States, thousands of sexual assault kits (SAKs) (also termed “rape kits”) have not been submitted by the police for forensic DNA testing. DNA evidence may be helpful to sexual assault investigations and prosecutions by identifying offenders, revealing serial offenders through DNA matches across cases, and exonerating those who have been wrongly accused, so it is important to understand why police are not utilizing this evidence. In this study, we applied focal concerns theory to understand discretionary practices in rape kit testing. We conducted a three‐year ethnography in one city that had large numbers of untested SAKs—Detroit, Michigan—to understand why thousands of SAKs collected between 1980 and 2009 were never submitted by the police for forensic DNA testing. Drawing upon observational, interview, and archival data, we found that while practical concerns regarding resources available for forensic analysis were clearly a factor, as Detroit did not have the funding or staffing to test all SAKs and investigate all reported rapes, focal concerns regarding victim credibility and victim cooperation were more influential in explaining why rape kits were not tested. Implications for the criminal justice system response to sexual assault and rape kit testing legislation are examined.

  • Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work. By Sida Liu and Terence C. Halliday. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Europeanization or National Specificity? Legal Approaches to Sexual Harassment in France, 2002–2012

    This paper examines whether—and if so how—a 2002 European Directive on sexual harassment has changed the practice and content of sexual harassment law in France. It finds that the European Directive shaped how French courts address sexual harassment and informed the content of a new sexual harassment law France passed in 2012. Yet, its influence has been mediated by dominant national attitudes about: (1) the nature of sexual harassment, (2) which legal institutions are best suited to address it, and (3) the character of women who claim to have been harassed. This paper further suggests that news reporting on a 2011 arrest of a French politician for sexual assault led to more positive attitudes about sexual harassment victims.

  • Issue Information
  • Justices and Journalists: The Global Perspective. By Richard Davis and David Taras. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Featured documents

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT