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Welcome to the Law and Society Review Blog

The editors of Law and Society Review have started this blog with the goal of facilitating broader dissemination of socio-legal research. We hope that this blog allows us to discuss scholarship and teach issues that may not make it to academic journals quickly. We invite everyone to contribute; we ask all authors to summarize their recent articles.

The blog will also allow us to discuss the changing research environment. We’d like to hear more people contribute to pressing conversations around research and publishing. Many of us already have these conversations among smaller groups of scholars. A blog will allow a larger conversation with more participants and, we hope, a greater diversity of views.  The questions to weigh in on are many. Professional associations and funding agencies occasion talk about the press for data access in both Europe and North America. What do you think about this issue, in every dimension from ethical to epistemological to administrative? What do we …
Recent posts
Call for Symposia Due Date:Friday, September 25, 2020The Law & Society Review seeks proposals for themed symposia to appear in late volume 55 and volume 56, which will appear in print in later 2021 and 2022. The Review is particularly interested in symposia focused around issues of current significance, such as COVID-19, voting rights, the rise of fascism, and struggles for racial justice, as well as a variety of other themes within law and society scholarship and substantive areas of focus.  Symposia will feature 3-5 articles clustered around a shared theme, and will be edited by guest editors. Editors may work alone or in teams.  Proposals should come from scholars who wish to serve as symposium editors. Proposals will be selected on a competitive basis.Criteria for evaluation will include the significance and potential impact of the collected scholarship, innovation in subject matter or method, and collaborations that seek to include early-career scholars and members of groups …
In Memoriam: Sally Engle MerryIn celebration and remembrance of the many contributions to our field of the late Sally Engle Merry, Law & Society Review invites short essays describing her impact as a scholar, teacher, mentor, leader or friend. A selection of these essays will be published in the December 2020 issue of the Review. Others may be published on the Review’s website. Submission guidelines. The closing date for submissions is Friday, September 25th. To assist in planning, the Board would be grateful if those intending to submit an essay would notify us as soon as possible by writing to LawandSocietyReview@exchange.asu.edu. Submissions under 2000 words in length are strongly preferred. Authors considering contributing longer pieces should write the Review and describe their proposed submission in advance of submitting.Essays may be submitted through the journal’s general email address, above.

In the most recent Law & Society Review

Reconfiguring the Deserving Refugee: Cultural Categories of Worth and the Making of US Asylum Policy
Talia Shiff Lecturer on Sociology
Postdoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead Scholars Program Harvard University @Talia_Shiff

Contemporary US asylum policy is characterized by two seemingly contradictory developments: on the one hand, increasing restrictions placed on the admission of immigrants and asylum seekers, and on the other handa growing acceptance of a new set of asylum claims involving previously unrecognized forms of gender-related harms. In Reconfiguring the Deserving Refugee: Cultural Categories of Worth and the Making of US Asylum Policy, Talia Shiff sets  to explain this puzzle: how is it that during a period of growing hostility towards asylum seekers at large, there is an increasingly inclusive approach towards non-conventional gender-based claims such as rape, female genital cutting and domestic violence that do not involve standard forms of government-sponsored persecution of well-r…

In the most recent Law & Society Review

Jailing Immigrant Detainees: A National Study of County Participation in Immigration Detention, 1983-2013
Emily Ryo Professor of Law & Sociology University of Southern California Gould School of Law Ian Peacock Ph.D. Candidate University of California, Los Angeles Department of Sociology

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pays hundreds of county jails in the United States to detain immigrants facing removal proceedings.Removal proceedings are civil proceedings against individuals alleged to have violated immigration laws.Immigration detention therefore presents a striking case of how penal institutions are used for civil confinement purposes.Yet we know very little about what types of counties have come to participate in this arrangement and the predictors of their participation.Using diverse sources of county-level data that span multiple decades, we conducted the first national study of the role of local jails in confining immigrant detainees.Our analysis of this co…

In the most recent Law & Society Review

On the Radar: Why Immigrant ‘Legality’ Can Feel as Scary as Immigrant ‘Illegality’

Photo by Harrison Truong 


Asad L. Asad Assistant Professor of Sociology  Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Stanford University @asasad

Under contemporary U.S. immigration policy, both “legal” and “illegal” immigrants are vulnerable to deportation. Sociologist Asad L. Asad’s article in Law & Society Review, “On the Radar: System Embeddedness and Latin American Immigrants’ Perceived Risk of Deportation,” asks what this shared vulnerability means for whether and how undocumented and documented immigrants fear deportation. He describes the perceptions and experiences of Latin American families recruited from their residential neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas.
Asad’s analysis reveals the perverse incentives the U.S. immigration system creates for immigrants seeking to balance their long-term commitment to this country with a desire to respect the law. First, immigrants…

Knowledge is power? Think again.

In the most recent issue of the Review, Kathryne M. Young and Katie R. Billings reported on their study of people’s willingness to assert rights in a variety of encounters with police, including interrogations, home searches, and car searches.They found that not only is knowledge of constitutional rights unrelated to rights assertion,[1] but patterns of police-citizen interactions are related to social class.People from modest backgrounds were likely to approach police stops with more willingness to help the police and more skepticism that police would heed their rights assertions. People from upper-middle-class backgrounds, on the other hand, brought a greater sense of entitlement and self-directedness to these interactions, making them more likely to assert their rights. Their findings contravene the U.S. Supreme Court’s long-held assumption that informing people about a constitutional right means they will be empowered to assert that right.Not so —hidden social processes actually r…
Just out in Law & Society Review.On the heels of the warmest January on record, a new paper on indigenous groups' human rights claims in the face of climate change...


Realizing the Right to Be Cold? Framing Processes and Outcomes Associated with the Inuit Petition on Human Rights and Global Warming
Is protection from climate change a human right? In 2005, Inuk activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, on behalf Inuit based in the Canadian arctic and Alaska and with the support of two American environmental NGOs, submitted a petition against the United States before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights alleging that the United States was responsible for how climate change had undermined their human rights, culture, property, traditional land, health, life, integrity, and security, subsistence, and housing – an argument that could referred to as asserting the right to be cold.
The petition supported an influential transnational effort to build linkages between human rights and clima…