Keith E. Whittington

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics

Princeton University


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Law and Politics: Critical Concepts in Political Science


Designed to meet research, reference, and teaching needs across the humanities and social sciences, Routledge Major Works gather together the best and most influential work on particular concepts, subjects, and individuals. Each Routledge Major Work is edited by a leading scholar in the field to create a ‘mini library’—generally a set of four or five volumes. The sets consist of a careful selection of previously published articles from a variety of journals, excerpts or chapters from previously published books, and materials from other sources which together provide users with historical purchase on the concept, subject, or individual in question, as well as a thorough overview of current issues.


Law and politics are deeply intertwined.  Law is an essential tool of government action, an instrument with which government tries to influence society.  Law is also the means by which government itself is structured, regulated and controlled.  It is no surprise, then, that law is an important prize in the political struggle and that law shapes how politics is conducted.


The scholarly study of law and politics is a growing and diverse field.  The range of scholarship in the area reflects the wide scope of issues and questions that are relevant to the field of law and politics and that invite new and further study.  The diversity of scholarly interest in law and politics also reflects the interdisciplinary conversation that the field invites.


Law and Politics covers this ground as a new title in the Routledge series, Critical Concepts in Political Science.  Along with a new introduction by the editor, the four-volume collection brings together the best of canonical and cutting-edge works in the field.  It provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of law and politics and will stand as an essential research resource for scholars and students alike.


The first volume in the collection focuses on jurisprudence and constitutionalism and assembles key works examining such basic question as what is law and what purposes do constitutions serve.  The second volume turns its attention to how courts operate and how judges make their decisions, examining the judicial process from trial courts to appellate courts.  The third volume focuses on the relationship between law and society and takes up the intersection between the legal process and social actors, considering such issues as how ordinary people think about the law and how legal compliance works.  The final volume considers law, courts and politics in an international and comparative perspective, bringing together research on such topics as the foundations of judicial independence and the relationship between law and economic development.


Volume 1: Jurisprudence and Constitutionalism


General Introduction



1.      The Path of the Law

Oliver Wendell Holmes

2.      Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals

H.L.A. Hart

3.      Positivism and Fidelity to Law – A Reply to Professor Hart

Lon Fuller

4.      Authority and Justification

Joseph Raz

5.      Law as Interpretation

Ronald M. Dworkin

6.      Constitutionalism: Ancient and Modern

Charles Howard McIlwain

7.      The Constitution as an Institution

Karl N. Llewellyn

8.      Constitutionalism

Keith E. Whittington

9.      Constitutional Dictatorship

Clinton Rossiter

10.  The Origin and Scope of the American Doctrine of Constitutional Law

James Bradley Thayer

11.  Democracy and Distrust

John Hart Ely

12.  The Core of the Case Against Judicial Review

Jeremy Waldron

13.  “The Constitution” in American Civil Religion

Sanford Levinson



Volume 2: Judicial Politics




14.  Decision-Making in a Democracy: The Supreme Court as a National Policy-Maker

Robert A. Dahl

15.  The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model Revisited

Jeffrey A. Segal and Harold J. Spaeth

16.  What Do Judges and Justices Maximize? (The Same Thing Everybody Else Does)

Richard A. Posner

17.  Elements of Judicial Strategy

Walter F. Murphy

18.  Informative Precedent and Intrajudicial Communication

Ethan Bueno De Mesquita and Matthew C. Stephenson

19.  Strategic Auditing in a Political Hierarchy: An Informational Model of the Supreme Court’s Certiorari Decisions

Charles M. Cameron, Jeffrey A. Segal, and Donald R. Songer

20.  Organized Interests and Agenda Setting in the U.S. Supreme Court

Gregory A. Caldeira and John R. Wright

21.  The Nonmajoritarian Difficulty: Legislative Deference to the Judiciary

Mark A. Graber

22.  How Political Parties Can Use Courts to Advance Their Agendas: Federal Courts in the United States, 1875-1891

Howard Gillman

23.  Legislative-Judicial Relations: A Game Theoretic Approach to Constitutional Review

Georg Vanberg

24.  The Separation of Powers, Court Curbing, and Judicial Legitimacy

Tom S. Clark

25.  Congressional Influence on Bureaucracy

John A. Ferejohn and Charles R. Shipan

26.  A Spatial Model of Roll Call Voting: Senators, Constituents, Presidents, and Interest Groups in Supreme Court Confirmations

Jeffrey A. Segal, Charles M. Cameron, and Albert D. Cover

27.  Republican Schoolmaster: The U.S. Supreme Court, Public Opinion and Abortion

Charles H. Franklin and Liane C. Kosaki

28.  The Least Dangerous Branch Revisited: New Evidence on Supreme Court Responsiveness to Public Preferences

Kevin T. McGuire and James A. Stimson

29.  Accountability and Coercion: Is Justice Blind When It Runs for Office?

Gregory A. Huber and Sanford Gordon



Volume 3: Law and Society




30.  Whigs and Hunters

E.P. Thompson

31.  The People’s Welfare

William J. Novak

32.  Adversarial Legalism and American Government

Robert A. Kagan

33.  The Problem of Social Cost

Ronald H. Coase

34.  Subversive Stories and Hegemonic Tales: Toward a Sociology of Narrative

Patricia Ewick and Susan S. Silbey

35.  Legal Ambiguity and Symbolic Structures: Organizational Mediation of Civil Rights Law

Lauren Beth Edelman

36.  The Emergence and Transformation of Disputes: Naming, Blaming and Claiming

William L.F. Felstiner, Richard L. Abel, and Austin Sarat

37.  Why the “Haves” Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change

Marc Galanter

38.  The Hollow Hope

Gerald N. Rosenberg

39.  Acting When Elected Officials Won’t: Federal Courts and Civil Rights Enforcement in U.S. Labor Unions, 1935-85

Paul Frymer

40.  Why Do We Punish? Deterrence and Just Deserts as Motives for Punishment

Kevin M. Carlsmith, John M. Darley, and Paul H. Robinson

41.  The Culture of High Crime Societies

David Garland

42.  The Role of Procedural Justice and Legitimacy in Shaping Public Support for Policing

Jason Sunshine and Tom R. Tyler

43.  Distorting the Law

William Haltom and Michael W. McCann



Volume 4: Comparative and International Issues




44.  Courts

Martin Shapiro

45.  The Puzzling (In)dependence of Courts: A Comparative Approach

J. Mark Ramseyer

46.  Judicial Independence in Unstable Environments, Argentina 1935-1998

Matias Iaryczower, Pablo T. Spiller, and Mariano Tommasi

47.  On the Legitimacy of National High Courts

James L. Gibson, Gregory A. Caldeira, and Venessa A. Baird

48.  Constitutional Courts vs. Religious Fundamentalism: Three Middle Eastern Tales

Ran Hirschl

49.  Constitutions and Commitments: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England

Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast

50.  Judicial Checks and Balances

Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Cristian Pop-Eleches, and Andrei Schleifer

51.  The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation

Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson

52.  Presidents and Assemblies

Matthew Soberg Shugart and John M. Carey

53.  The Endurance of National Constitutions

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton

54.  Globalization in Search of Justification: Toward a Theory of Comparative Constitutional Interpretation

Sujit Choudhry

55.  The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe

Andrew Moravcsik

56.  International Law and State Behavior: Commitment and Compliance in International Monetary Affairs

Beth A. Simmons

57.  Hard and Soft Law in International Governance

Kenneth W. Abbott and Duncan Snidal



Routledge Press

Routledge book description

December 2012

1600 pages, cloth

ISBN: 978-0-415-68035-6

$1275.00 (cl)