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The undergraduate classes in constitutional law brought political action and behavior to the political science curriculum. The formal and descriptive character of courses in American and comparative government might be the starting point for understanding American politics, but constitutional law was the class in p. Constitutional scholarship of this sort continued in political science after the Second World War, but under increasing competitive pressure.

A new generation of constitutional lawyers in the law schools was more prominent and more sophisticated than their predecessors. The foreword to that issue became a prominent platform for constitutional law professors to speak to the Court, as well as to the legal profession and academia. The summary offered by the American Political Science Review had long lost its preeminence before it was dropped from the journal.

Political scientists such as Carl Swisher, Alpheus Mason, David Fellman, and John Roche continued this humanistic tradition of constitutional studies well into the s, but their successors were fewer and increasingly marginal to the discipline. Within the discipline, the study of law and politics was generally shifting away from constitutional law and thought and toward judicial politics.

- Roots of Realism (Cass Series on Security) by B. Frankel

Although there were some tentative earlier efforts to pursue quantitative studies of judicial behavior and to consider the political and social influences on judicial decision-making, C. Herman Pritchett ; pushed the field in a significant new direction with his statistical studies of voting behavior on the Supreme Court in the s and s Murphy and Tanenhaus , 17— Counting votes both became analytically meaningful and took on a new urgency as a political puzzle in the s and s when dissenting and concurring opinions first became routine.

But statistical analyses of voting behavior did not wholly define the new movement within the field. With a different methodological and conceptual approach, Jack Peltason ; likewise sought to open the field up by looking beyond constitutional decisions and the Supreme Court and p. These emerging works in judicial politics had in common a single-minded focus on the political behavior of judges and those with whom they interacted, analyzed as other political actors might be analyzed and largely stripped of substantive legal content, historical development, or philosophical implication. For Corwin, Haines, and their humanistic successors, the study of law and politics was concerned with marrying an understanding and appreciation of the substance of the law with an understanding of the process by which law developed over time.

For the behavioralists who emerged in the postwar period, developing an understanding of the process by which law was created and implemented was a sufficient scholarly task. Works on the political behavior of judges and associated actors proliferated in the s and soon dominated the field Pritchett ; Schubert Among others, Pritchett and Walter Murphy gave close study to the rising hostility in Congress to the federal judiciary and its decisions.

David Danelski, Sheldon Goldman, and Joel Grossman unpacked the judicial recruitment and selection process. Martin Shapiro resuscitated administrative law and the policy-making role of the courts outside of constitutional law. Walter Murphy, Alpheus Mason, and J. Woodward Howard uncovered the internal operations of the courts. Clement Vose focused attention on litigants and the relevance of interest groups to the judiciary. In-depth studies of the implementation of and compliance with judicial decisions were undertaken. Glendon Schubert, Harold Spaeth, Sidney Ulmer, and a host of others followed directly on Pritchett and built sophisticated statistical analyses of judicial voting behavior.

Several scholars made tentative efforts at public opinion research and comparative analysis. This new wave of research ushered in a range of new methodological approaches that had not been common in the earlier scholarship, but what were equally notable were the types of focused questions being asked about many aspects of the judicial process.

Broader syntheses that may have taken note of judicial selection or interest groups when examining an area of law gave way to detailed studies examining how those particular aspects of the judicial process worked and what consequences they might have. Subsequent movements have deepened and broadened these currents in the study of law and politics in political science. The interdisciplinary law-and-society movement reinforced the behavioralist turn in political science but added a greater interest in the operation of law and courts closest to the ground—criminal justice, the operation of the trial courts, juries, dispute resolution, the behavior of lawyers, the informal penetration of law into the social, economic, and cultural spheres—and fostered new conversations about law and politics across p.

In focusing on law as it is embedded in society, sociolegal scholars have attacked such problems as the nature of disputing, including how individuals recognize that they have a legal claim, decide whether to pursue that claim, and achieve success in addressing their injuries or changing policy Mather The empirical study of tribunals and law in the international arena and outside the United States has grown rapidly in recent years, fostering connections between the study of law and courts and the study of comparative politics and international relations. Law and courts have assumed new importance in both areas.

International law and courts have gained increased prominence in recent decades, leading scholars to examine the forces that drive such institutions and the impact that they have on national and private actors. Courts have also become increasingly important in a large number of established and newly emergent democracies, and even in some non-democratic regimes.

Many of these cases raise similar questions to those that can and have been explored in the American context. Perhaps more interesting, however, is the fact that many of these cases raise new puzzles about how law and courts fit into their political and social environments that either do not exist in the American context or cannot be readily examined in the American case. The struggle to establish independent judiciaries and the rule of law in countries undergoing democratization and economic development pose unique challenges and suggest a range of distinctive research questions and evidence to be examined Chavez ; Ginsburg ; Vanberg Historical institutionalist studies have recovered an interest in constitutional ideas and historical development and wedded it to the post-behavioralist concern with political action and the broader political system.

Scholars working in this vein have been particularly interested in patterns and mechanisms of continuity and change in the American legal and constitutional systems. This work takes seriously the possibility that ideas matter within law and politics and that the ideational context within which judges and political actors operate is itself of interest and worthy of study. At the same time, historical institutionalist studies have examined how a range of political and judicial actors have sought to advance their perceived interests and commitments through legal and judicial means, respond to exercises of judicial power, and adjust to conflicting visions of legal and constitutional requirements Smith Game theoretic accounts of political strategy have come forth and provided new perspectives on judicial behavior and new approaches to linking courts with other political institutions.

Such work has tended to emphasize the ways in which judges interact with various other actors in the political system, from legislators to litigators to other judges, and to detail the logic of those interactions. Although it is being increasingly integrated into all aspects of law and politics work, it has also brought an interdisciplinary component to the field and focused attention on questions relating to the development of doctrine and administrative law that had otherwise been overshadowed Spiller and Gely ; Kornhauser There is no single best way to divide up the field of law and politics.

Overview of Law and Politics the Study of Law and Politics

Literatures overlap, and it is possible to view those literatures at different levels of aggregation or with different points of emphasis so as to highlight commonalities or differences. Indeed, the prior discussion suggests a basic bifurcation in the field, between constitutional law and jurisprudence on the one side and judicial process and politics on the other. But this basic bifurcation better reflects the historical evolution of the field than it does the current structure of the study of law and politics.

We offer below one map of the field. Jurisprudence and the philosophy of the law is the oldest aspect of the study of law and politics and stands conceptually at its foundation. Particularly as it emerged from the continuing debates over the work of H. Hart , jurisprudence is concerned with the basic nature of law. It has sought to identify the essential elements of law, distinguishing the realm of law from other aspects of the social order and other forms of social control.

In an older tradition, jurisprudence hoped to systematize legal knowledge, extracting and refining the central principles of the law and the logical coherence of the legal system as a whole. In this mode, jurisprudence was to be an essential tool of the legal teacher, scholar, and practitioner and the starting point of a legal science.

When wedded to normative commitments and theories, jurisprudence was also a tool of legal reform, identifying where the law needed to be worked pure and how best to do so. A primary task of jurisprudence is to answer the question: What is law? It seeks to identify the common features of a legal system and clarify the logical structure of law. To do so requires distinguishing law from other normative systems of social ordering, such as custom and religion. Basic to this enquiry has been the effort to identify the conditions that would render a norm legally valid.

Two well-established schools of thought have developed around these questions, with natural lawyers contending that the legal validity of a rule depends in part on its substantive morality and legal positivists arguing that legal validity is potentially independent of morality and solely a function of social convention. Related to this issue are such concerns as clarifying the nature of legal concepts such as rights and duties, identifying the kinds of reasons by which legal authority is established and legal obligations are created, and explicating the process of legal reasoning.

Supplementing analytical approaches to these issues are distinctively normative jurisprudential theories, which are concerned with which legal rights and obligations are most justified, how best to reason about the law, and the like. These predominant branches of jurisprudence have been periodically challenged by self-consciously realist theories of law that attempt to ground the basic features p. The linkage of legal theory with such empirical concerns has supported both critical theories aimed at subverting dominant jurisprudential models and more positive theories concerned with developing their own understandings of the law.

Constitutional law is often paired with jurisprudence. The subfields share interests in the substance of law and ideas surrounding law. They also share an interest in normative aspects of law. But where jurisprudence is concerned with the conceptual underpinnings of law writ large, constitutional law is concerned with the legal and theoretical foundations of a particular, and a particular kind of, political order. The subfield has long been concerned with constitutional law itself.

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In this vein, political scientists have, along with legal scholars, explored the doctrinal developments in particular areas of law. In addition, however, political scientists have been somewhat more likely to examine the intellectual history of constitutional concepts and modes of thought, the normative underpinnings of constitutional principles, the constitutional philosophies of individual justices or historical eras, and the relationship between constitutional law and broader political and social currents.

Political scientists have been attracted to constitutional law as intellectual historians, normative political theorists, and social theorists, as well as legal doctrinalists. In recent years, the study of constitutional law per se has been submerged within the broader subject of constitutional politics. Although there have been notable exceptions, constitutional law has traditionally been the particular subject area within which political scientists have explored the origin, development, and application of legal principles and the interaction of courts and judges with other institutions and actors on the political stage.

Whether taking the form of individual case histories or broader analyses, the making of constitutional law can be studied like the making of other forms of public policy. Constitutional politics highlights the ways in which the creation of constitutional law is situated within a broader political, institutional, and intellectual context and the significance of actors other than judges in contributing to constitutional policy-making and implementing constitutional norms.

More broadly still, understanding the design, founding, maintenance, and failure of constitutional systems requires looking far beyond courts and constitutional law. The political process by which courts are constituted and legal decisions are made and implemented is central to the empirical research in the field Segal Originally, the study of the voting behavior of individual judges, in particular the justices on the Supreme Court, formed the core of the study of judicial politics: Why do judges vote as they do, as opposed to the how and the why of the reasons they give in opinions?

What do the patterns of votes within the Court and other collegial courts tell us about these institutions as political actors? Now, judicial voting is but a part, albeit an important part, of the study of judicial politics. Scholars increasingly are taking a broader view, and are attempting to study the behavior of judges and courts in the political process, as just one more group or political actor among many others, including other courts and judges, executives, legislatures, interest groups, lawyers, and ordinary citizens.


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An array of research questions has occupied scholarly attention within this rubric over time. A particularly strong version of the political perspective would assert that judges are simply policy-makers, and, if sufficiently insulated from review or reprisal, will enact their policy preferences if given the opportunity.

If such factors do matter, we would want to know how, under what circumstances, and with what significance. But scholars have also given attention to other concerns, including the internal decision-making processes within and between courts and the effects that various external factors such as the composition of the elected branches, the activities of interest groups, or public opinion might have on judicial decisions. Law and society is not a subfield within political science, but rather an interdisciplinary enterprise that has long invited political scientists to explore a broader range of legal phenomena and to employ a broader range of methodologies.

Law and society scholarship explores the reciprocal impact of law on society and of society on law—with some scholars focusing on the role of law as an instrument of social change or social control and others focusing on how social mobilization, culture, and legal consciousness determine the actual impact of law. With its roots in the legal realism scholarship of the s, law and society scholarship proliferated in the s with the founding of the Law and Society Association in the United States. Today the field of law and society includes a vibrant mix of scholars from political science, sociology, anthropology, history, and law who draw on a variety of methods and epistemological premisses.

The law and society perspective has encouraged many political scientists to turn their gaze to the local level, to explore how law is mobilized, how it is experienced, and what impact it has across society in fields as diverse as criminal law, civil rights, and business regulation. Such contributions are perhaps most obvious in studies of legal mobilization and the impact of law, where law and society scholarship has shed light on the conditions under which social movements mobilize law in pursuit of their aims and the consequences of legal actions for those who are subject to the law.

Law and society has also encouraged a comparative perspective, with the field shifting from its roots in studies of the American legal system to embrace an increasingly wide range of scholarship on comparative and transnational sociolegal issues. Some scholars Provine suggest a growing rift between much of political science and the field of law and society, as the latter shifts away from an interest in formal institutions of law and government and from positivist social science.

Given the fruitful engagement of political science and law and society over the past half-century, the growth of any such rift would be unfortunate. Until recently, the subfield of comparative politics largely ignored law and politics while the subfield of law and politics largely ignored law and courts outside the USA. Today change is coming from both directions.

Comparatists are taking greater interest in the politics of law and courts, and scholars in the law and politics sub-field are increasingly doing comparative work. Current scholarship builds on the work of such pioneers as Murphy and Tanenhaus , Schubert and Danelski , Shapiro , Kommers , Stone , and Volcansek , who set out a research agenda, calling on others to examine and compare the influence of courts on politics and the influence of politics on courts across democracies.

Roots of Realism (Cass Series on Security Studies)

Although most of the early work focused exclusively on the politics of constitutional courts in established democracies, more recent work has expanded in two directions. First, the transitions to democracy in the s and s gave birth to a host of new constitutional courts in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia which have spawned a new wave of scholarly research. The institutionalist turn in international relations theory and the proliferation of international courts and law-based regimes have drawn more and more political scientists to the study of international law and legal institutions.

Meanwhile, recognizing the limits of a strictly legal analysis, legal scholars have turned to international relations theory to help explain the design, operation, and impact of international rules and legal institutions. Finally, research on themes such as the globalization of law and European legal integration tie together comparative and international approaches, examining how international institutions and networks may spread legal norms and practices across jurisdictions.

The study of law and politics is as wide-ranging and diverse as it has ever been. Scholars in the field are exploring a greater number of research questions with a wider range of methods and across a wider array of subjects related to law and courts than has ever been the case.

In doing so, they have built bridges between political science and other disciplines and between the particular study of law and politics and other subfields within political science. The field has long run the risk of internal balkanization, but the opportunities for dialogue and synthesis are particularly high at this point in the development of the field. Almond, G. Newbury Park, Calif. Find this resource:. Chavez, R. The rule of law and courts in democratizing regimes. In Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics , ed. Whittington, R.

Kelemen, and G. New York: Oxford University Press. Corwin, E. The democratic dogma and the future of political science. American Political Science Review , — Friedrich, C. Political philosophy and the science of politics. In Approaches to the Study of Politics , ed. I wish I could go back in time. Following her resignation, she also appeared on The Colbert Report on March 17, , saying, "can I just clarify and say, I don't think Hillary Clinton is a monster After the presidential election , Power joined president-elect Obama's State Department transition team.


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In this capacity, Power kept the U. Within the Obama administration, Power advocated for military intervention in Libya during the Libyan Civil War on humanitarian grounds. Power left the National Security Council in February On June 5, , U. Her nomination also faced some opposition. Former U. Power was confirmed as UN ambassador by the U. Senate on August 1, , by a vote of 87 to 10, and was sworn in a day later by the Vice President. Her advocacy of humanitarian intervention has been criticized for being tendentious and militaristic, for answering a "problem from hell" with a "solution from hell.

Chemi Shalev wrote that individuals have described Power as being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli, on the basis of statements which she made in a interview with Harry Kreisler. In July , Power expressed support for Israel's right to defend itself during the Israel—Gaza conflict. In December , she justified the Obama administration's refusal to veto a resolution against Israeli settlements.

Power told the member U. Security Council : "Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in undermines Israel's security, harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome, and erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region. Speaking in September , regarding the Syrian Civil War , Power told a news conference that the American intelligence findings "overwhelmingly point to one stark conclusion: The Assad regime perpetrated an attack.

She said, "The system devised in precisely to deal with threats of this nature did not work as it was supposed to. In , speaking on the crisis in Ukraine , Ambassador Power, told reporters that Washington was "gravely disturbed" by reports of Russian military deployments into the Crimea. Power declined to characterize Russian military actions when asked if they constituted aggression. She called for an independent international mediation mission to be quickly dispatched to Ukraine. In July , during a forum at Hunter College commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots , Power said that, in spite of significant progress in the US, the LGBT rights movement was "far from over," noting that, "There are some parts of the world where the situation abroad is actually taking a sharp turn for the worse for LGBT individuals.

Referring to a law signed in February by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that imposes a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts, she said: "Unfortunately, Uganda 's anti-gay legislation is not an outlier. Nor is the climate of intolerance and abuse that it has fostered.

Supreme Court decision that struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act , and a week after the Obama administration announced travel bans against Ugandan officials responsible for anti-LGBT human rights abuses. In March , Power described defense cuts planned by European countries such as Britain as "very concerning" in light of the "diffuse" challenges facing the world, such as the Ebola crisis in west Africa and the threat from the Islamic State of the Levant ISIL. She flew to Brussels to urge European nations to abide by a NATO pledge to devote to defense at least two per cent of their national budget, and she suggested that their current spending already risked being insufficient.

Power has faced criticism for her silence on Obama's failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide , especially after its th anniversary in In June , Power spoke to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee while negotiations were taking place with Iran regarding granting relief of sanctions on the country in return for them scaling back their nuclear program. In while speaking on the situation in Syria, Power said, "What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism , it is barbarism," "Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war.

Instead of helping get life-saving aid to civilians, Russia and Assad are bombing the humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders who are trying desperately to keep people alive," Power said. A Sept. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov aimed at putting Syria's peace process back on track effectively collapsed on Monday when an aid convoy was bombed.

Power, in her last major speech in the role, told the international community it must do everything it can to stop what she described as a Russian assault on the world order. Outlining Russian actions like the annexation of Crimea, the bombing of civilians in Syria, and a hacking of America's election, Power drew a picture of a state whose primary aim is to sow chaos and wreak havoc on the "rules-based" world order that is girded by international law and run in bodies like the United Nations.

On May 31, , Power's testimony and relevant records were subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into the purposeful unmasking of Americans whose conversations she deliberately obtained from intelligence surveillance.

Barnard College awarded Power its highest award, [76] the Barnard Medal of Distinction, citing among other achievements her book A Problem from Hell , along with her denunciation of genocide and "hope that vows of 'never again' would truly mean 'never again'". At the Kennedy School, she is affiliated with both the Carr Center and the Belfer Center, where she serves as senior member, board member, and director of the new International Peace and Security Project. In October , in response to the Saudi Arabia 's explanation about the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi , Power tweeted that "Shifting from bald-face lies " Khashoggi left consulate" to faux condemnation of a "rogue operation" to claiming the fox will credibly investigate what he did to the hen On July 4, , Power married law professor Cass Sunstein , whom she met while working on the Obama campaign.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Samantha Power. Cass Sunstein m. This section's representation of one or more viewpoints about a controversial issue may be unbalanced or inaccurate. Please improve the article or discuss the issue on the talk page. November The Irish Times. The Wire. The Atlantic. Retrieved 7 July Barnard College. Retrieved 13 December In it, you shone a bold and discerning light on the atrocities of Cambodia, Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Darfur in hope that vows of "never again" would truly mean "never again," and that a regard for human consequences will, someday, matter most.

The Intercept. Retrieved Samantha Power's father died of broken heart after she left for US". Evening Herald. Retrieved January 29, Permanent Representative to the United Nations whitehouse. Anthony Lukas Prize Project winners". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Retrieved 16 March April 19, Retrieved May 23, The New York Times.


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