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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

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…

Navigating between antidiscrimination, labor, and social rights. The legal mobilization of workers with disabilities in Belgium: Law & Society Review 53(4), 2019

Aude Lejeune and Julie Ringelheim
Wheel chair access call point, Royal Court of Justice, London (Aude Lejeune)
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), European Union Employment Directive (2000), United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities… In the last thirty years, all over the world, legal instruments have been adopted reflecting a new approach to disability. Previous policies were based on the idea that people with disabilities are poorly adapted to mainstream society. Thus, they aimed at compensating for, or mitigating, their exclusion through the provision of social allowances, the creation of separate institutions (like sheltered workshops), or special modes of access to employment (like quotas). Anchored in antidiscrimination law, the new legal framework, by contrast, posits that disabled persons are entitled to equal opportunities and inclusion within the wider society. One important component of these new legislations is the recognition of a right for pe…

Law & Society Review: Call for Virtual Special Issues

Law & Society Review:  Call for Virtual Special Issues The Law & Society Review anticipates producing several virtual special issues over the next three volume years (2020–2022).  A virtual special issue comprises a collection of articles that have already been published in Law & Society Review, as well as a newly-written introduction by the special issue editor or editorial team. Virtual special issues are showcased on the journal website; articles included in the issue remain open access for 2-6 months. Reasons you might want to propose a virtual special issue include: To highlight a puzzle, important unanswered question, or gap in research (perhaps one you are working on right now…)To energize a conversation about a topic, issue or question (perhaps one you are or may soon be writing about…) To showcase the relevance of law and society research to an issue of contemporary importanceTo draw together seemingly disparate work and explain why law and socie…

Inviting Papers for a Symposium on Immigration Detention

Law & Society Review Symposium: Facing Immigration Detention Revised Submission Deadline: February 15, 2020

Immigration detention is one of the most pressing civil and human rights issues of our time that affects millions of migrants around the world. The theme of this special symposium issue, Facing Immigration Detention, is understanding the causes, conditions, and consequences of immigration detention around the world. This Special Issue is dedicated to advancing public knowledge about how immigration detention has expanded, its role in immigration enforcement, its societal impacts, and its intersections with the criminal justice system. The Special Issue seeks to bring together innovative research that will guide the next generation of detention studies and inform policy debates in this area.  

To be considered, the work must engage with theory, offer empirical analysis, and make clear contributions to socio-legal studies. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Causes of…

Switching Up the Metaphor: from Baseball to Knitting

Susan M. Sterett, University of Maryland, Baltimore County



Metaphors guide what we see. In studying law and courts, metaphors for the law have come from baseball: Justice Roberts famously said in his confirmation hearing that judges call balls and strikes. Justice Kavanaugh followed his lead. Although umpires argued the analogy misunderstands the creativity the job requires, it remains a common metaphor for judging. The valuable website Oyez asks on each Supreme Court justice’s biography which baseball player is most like the justice’s contribution to the law. It’s an incomprehensible question for those who don’t follow men’s professional baseball closely. It also points to justices, and individual achievement, as the key players in law. Others are spectators.

What would show up if instead an activity often dismissed as trivial, mechanistic and feminine—knitting (and I want to include crochet; for brevity I’ll sum up both with knitting)—were the metaphor for the law instead? 
Bas…

What Courts do with Executive Privilege Claims

By Gbemende Johnson, Hamilton College

“Because Congress requires this material in order to perform our constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, I will issue a subpoena for the full report and the underlying materials.” This was the response of House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) after receiving the redacted 448-page Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.The battle over the Mueller Report is just one example of conflicts between Congress and the executive branch over executive privilege, where agency officials claim they can withhold documents. Many disputes land in federal court. The Obama Administration Department of Justice spent years in court defending its claim of executive privilege over documents related to the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” gunwalking operation. Federal courts have proven less likely to let cabinet level agencies like the Department of Justice withhold documents than they are with independent agencies li…