Harry J. Kalven Jr Prize Winners
Basis for the Award
University of California, Berkeley
|Malcolm Feeley’s work on the counterintuitive and counterproductive effects of punishment policy has inspired generations of socio-legal scholars. He has repeatedly documented the realities of criminal justice in America (and beyond) as well as the effects of legal reforms. Starting with his classic work The Process is the Punishment (1979, republished 1992) and continuing through his new research on public prisons (“The Unconvincing Case against Private Prisons,” Indiana Law Journal 2014), Feeley has been in the forefront of our field in showing how the criminal justice system works in practice. He has also demonstrated repeatedly that well-intentioned reforms often produce worrying results and that much-criticized reforms are not necessarily as ill-advised as they look.
In Process is the Punishment, for example, Feeley argued that the due process revolution that made trials fairer also made them more grueling and less predictable for criminal defendants, pushing them into the less costly and also less fair system of plea bargains. The real punishment, he argued, was not the ultimate sentence but rather the cost of the pre-trial process, which frequently resulted in substantial penalties due to the accumulated costs of bail bondsmen, lost wages, and even job loss for the guilty and innocent alike. He also showed, in his historical work on this subject, that plea-bargaining is the direct result of changes in criminal procedure, not the result of extra-legal factors.
Feeley launched a provocative and productive line of work on “the new penology” in his writings with coauthor Jonathan Simon. In his work with coauthor Ed Rubin, Feeley showed that activist judges drew upon standards articulated by the American Correctional Association and the federal prisons to reform corrupt state prisons. Judges, in this account, act as policy makers rather than merely as interpreters of the law. Throughout his scholarship on forms of punishment and their social causes, Feeley alternates interview-based and observational research with deep dives into the archives.
Feeley has also taught us a great deal about women criminals, who used to be far more numerous than they are now, and much closer to men in their rates of offending in pre-modern society. His various works on this topic attribute the decline in female criminality to changing patterns of gender relations in both employment and family. He first published on this subject in 1991 in the Law and Society Review and has revisited the topic with new cross-cultural data on numerous occasions since, most recently in 2010 in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.
In his most recent (and continuing) work about private prisons, he builds on his earlier, historical explorations of prison innovation. The standard view is to condemn private prisons, arguing that they circumvent public values by usurping a core state function. Feeley shows how many valuable innovations in prison management have come from private prisons, and argues that the specific control and governance mechanisms that cut across public and private sector correctional facilities are more important in accounting for the treatment of prisoners than a prison’s public or private status.
Citations to Feeley’s work are piled high not only in the literature on criminology – but also across socio-legal studies more generally. Feeley’s research into the penal process has generated insights that have stood the test of time, and his new work continues to fascinate and delight our field with each of his new and surprising findings.
Calavita’s first book, U.S. Immigration Law and the Control of Labor, 1820-1924 (1984), revealed her ability to probe complex materials and find non-obvious answers. As she argued, contrary to popular perception, the rise of immigration control in the US was not the result of nativist activism or even the agitation of organized labor, but was instead accomplished only when a toxic mix of chronic unemployment, scientific racism and the judgment of US business that it no longer needed immigrant labor resulted in sharp limitations on who could enter the United States. Economics, in short, trumped activism, but through multiple lines of influence.
Calavita continued her pattern of seeing policy as the confluence of multiple vectors of causation in her second book, on the Bracero program: Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration and the I.N.S. (1992, republished with a new forward in 2010). The Bracero program brought farmworkers to the US on temporary contracts and sent them back to Mexico when they were no longer needed. While in the US, they were paid low wages and treated abysmally, revealing that the open door that allowed immigrant farmworkers in legally did not mean that they were allowed to live like US citizens. Bringing agency to the analysis of structure, Calavita traced the decisions of INS agents as they did their work in administering the program, showing how key individuals shaped the program as much as did the structural conditions of the sort she had previously highlighted in her earlier work. Linking history, structure and individual discretion into a coherent web of understanding, Calavita modelled for us all how to develop an elegant explanation of a complex phenomenon.
Her work on immigration moved overseas, and she researched immigration policy in Spain and Italy for her third book on the subject: Immigrants at the Margins: Law, Race, and Exclusion in Southern Europe (2005). Her comparative analysis revealed that the US was not alone in enacting ambivalence about immigrant labor into contradictory policy. In Southern Europe as well, an appetite by business for cheap labor combined with public pressures for social exclusion and created a system for immigrant labor that gave them legal work with second-class status.
Calavita generated many articles from these projects and more for the top journals in law and society. She also branched out into different areas of sociolegal inquiry with the same deft touch. In her newest book (with Valerie Jenness), Calavita turns from immigration to prisoner grievances but continues her nuanced analysis of how law takes shape on the ground. Appealing to Justice is a rich account of prisoner appeals that shows how inmates make extensive use of their right to appeal even though they rarely achieve the outcomes they seek. Through creative analysis of the narratives of grievances, Calavita and Jenness give voice to prisoners and challenge much conventional wisdom on disputing.
|Ted Eisenberg was known for his insatiable curiosity, immense creativity, and unbounded energy. His work—his approach, his questions, his style—was in the tradition of the scholarship of the late Harry Kalven, and so it is particularly appropriate that the Association honor him with the Kalven Prize. The range of Eisenberg’s scholarship (several books, and one hundred or so articles) is awesome, but what unites all of it was his insistence on examining the law in action—how legal rules and regimes operate in fact, how well they fare, what anticipated by-products they produce, how they might operate more effectively. His empirically based scholarship covered a host of important issues: class action, bankruptcy, civil rights cases, prisoner petitions, products liability, punitive damages, jury behavior, judge-jury agreement (replicating Kalven and Zeisel), negotiated settlements, capital punishment, arbitration, affirmative action, and attorney fee systems. Like most good scholars, once Eisenberg worked in an area, he could not let go, and so his portfolio of concerns mushroomed as he kept circling back to expand on issues he had dealt with earlier. Along the way he picked up colleagues, often junior scholars who benefited immensely from the collaboration. Eisenberg was not content to explore only the American legal system; he extended his work well beyond American borders, making contributions and working with co-authors on studies of the legal process in Israel, Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere. He also served as founding editor of theJournal of Empirical Legal Studies. Professor Eisenberg passed away on February 23rd, 2014.
Kim Lane Scheppele’s visionary and brave scholarship moves across the fields of comparative law, sociology, human rights and international affairs. Working in the vein of constitutional ethnography, she has explored a range of topics at the intersection of constitutional and international law, looking both at jurisdictions in transition to democracy and at established democracies and their security-based responses to events such as 9/11. Scheppele has a particular expertise on and love for the place of constitutional law in Hungary and Russia, having studied those cultures over two decades and, in part, from a resident’s point of view. She has recently researched the rise of global security law, drawing on and making connections with her earlier work on secrecy. Her research is creative, rigorous and widely cited. Not shy to draw the connection from her scholarship to the world of policy, she has had an influence far beyond scholarly networks. Her work is alive to the overlapping political, symbolic, comparative and cultural contexts in which constitutional law thrives and her scholarship is socio-legal in the finest sense.”
University of Virginia
|Donald Black asks fundamental questions about law’s authority and efficacy – in its practices of deliberation, legitimation and communication; in the ways these reformulate cultural ideas from wider, non-legal domains; and as ideas that spark new research and reflection. His insights travel readily across disciplines and borders. His publications have been widely recognized, reprinted, and translated – including languages underrepresented in our transnational community of scholars. From his early work on the social organization of law and “the behavior of law” to studies of policing and on-going explorations of ethics, temporality and the idea of justice, Black’s sociological imagination has been a vital example and generative resource for law and society scholarship.|
University of California, Berkeley
|Franklin Zimring has made wide-ranging contributions to law and society research through his studies of crime and criminal law’s attempts to control it, especially with regard to lethal violence and its instrumentalities; the effects of imprisonment; criminal sentencing; adolescent crime and juvenile justice policy; and capital punishment. In each of his main areas of endeavor, his work has influenced scholarship and U.S. public policy, and continues to do so. His many publications across the fields of law and the social sciences have charted new pathways for other researchers, improving our understandings of crime and the potential for theorizing in criminology. His work has helped advance public policy committed to reducing crime and advancing human rights.|
|2012||John Hagan||John Hagan has played a leadership role in the law and society community of scholars for more than three decades on issues of criminal justice and inequality, spanning topics from human rights to the legal profession. The results of his research have appeared prominently in the pages of the Law & Society Review beginning in 1975 with an article, “Extra-Legal Activities and Criminal Sentencing,” to a 2012 paper on the effects of maternal and paternal imprisonment on the “Children of the American Prison Generation.” Through a remarkable series of books, he has advanced scholarship on a range of law and society topics including the ground-breaking books on gender in the legal profession, homelessness and youth crime, law and war resistance, international criminal law and most recently theories and policies of street and suite crime, “Who are the criminals?” Perhaps his most widely read book, by the public as well as scholars, is Darfur and the Crime of Genocide (with Wenona Rymond-Richmond). With his imaginative juxtaposition of sources and meticulous analysis of data this work played an early and leading role in establishing the scale and state-led sources of the killing and sexual violence in Darfur that emphasized by documenting the gendered component of genocidal violence. Because of John Hagan’s innovative empirical contributions to public debates about domestic and international issues involving, crime, justice and inequality, the Law and Society Association awards him the 2012 Harry Kalven prize for effectively advancing knowledge of law in society.|
|2011|| Carol J. Greenhouse
Boaventura de Sousa Santos
|With broad interests in
the ethnography of law, culture, and politics, and a past president of this
Association, Carol Greenhouse has become widely influential across multiple
fields, including law and society, anthropology, political science,
communications, gender studies, and sociology. In her many works, ranging
from contemporary studies of the moral and religious bases of conflict,
justice, and change in American communities, to historical investigations of
temporal innovation in social resistance to colonial invaders, Greenhouse
has underscored the importance of understanding the cultural construction of
law. She has championed and modeled a reflexive ethnography that focuses on
state power – especially federal power in the United States – as it is
experienced and contested on the ground. This approach has enabled
Greenhouse to confront in her own works and to inspire others to explore the
experiential dimensions of big questions about the interplay of law, social
inequality and difference, postmodernity, cultural pluralism, and
ethnographic genres as forms of knowledge. Greenhouse’s most recent
collaborative writings embody her commitment to explore the effects of
neoliberal reform on people’s everyday self-understandings as social, legal,
and political actors.
During his long, distinguished and extraordinarily prolific scholarly career, Boaventura de Sousa Santos has exemplified and thus predicted the key traits of the modern law and society movement: interdisciplinarity, multi-culturalism, and an international (now global) understanding of law. In his many writings on subjects ranging from the sociology of law to human rights, from law and democracy to legal pluralism, and more recently to law and globalization – Boa Santos has not only consistently opened up new subjects and perspectives, and developed new concepts for empirical and theoretical analysis in ways that have inspired generations of scholars to follow his interests and example, he has also, just as consistently, championed those excluded from civil society as it is conceived in the Western tradition, seeking new definitions of the key concepts of our time – transnationalism, globalization – that will mobilize rather than disempower the world’s majorities. Based since 1965 at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, Boa Santos has taught throughout Europe and the Americas, developing in particular a long and productive relationship with the Law School at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author or editor of more than eighty books and countless articles in multiple languages. More important, Boa Santos has never ceased to use his academic expertise and influence to struggle for the unorganized and the disinherited.
|2010||Shari Seidman Diamond||
Seidman Diamond is an outstanding scholar whose empirical scholarship,
leadership in sociolegal studies, and contributions to legal policy are
richly deserving of the Kalven Prize. From her earliest work on sentencing
and the effects of peremptory challenges, to her current research programs
on civil juries and the psychology of property, Diamond has conducted
empirical work that is exciting, innovative, and of the highest quality. She
has developed an impressive body of scholarly accomplishment about the legal
decision making of lay persons and experts, about the role of discretion in
law across a range of settings, and about the complex intersection of
science and law. Rather than specialize in a single type of empirical
inquiry, Diamond fits her research approach to the topic at hand, making use
of a broad range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
These range from experiments and simulations to survey, observational and
archival methods. In addition to pioneering novel research approaches, her
writings about methodology have guided the thinking and work of students,
colleagues, and scholars for decades.
|2009||Susan S. Silbey||Susan Silbey has a long and distinguished record of organizational and scholarly contributions to the sociology of law, and to this association. Her first publication, in 1981, remains foundational to understanding the work of lower-level courts, still a much-neglected topic. Many early writings were concerned with civil disputes and their resolution, where she made important contributions to the critical understanding of mediation both as a process and as a social phenomenon. This led into her celebrated collaboration with Patricia Ewick on studies of legal consciousness, a series of contributions examining law in the everyday life and thinking of ordinary people. Alongside this, she has produced a stream of theoretical and methodological papers that have cemented her reputation well beyond the usual boundaries of law and society, and insisted of its relevance to many scholars who would not normally recognize the presence of law in their research domain. However, the criteria for this award stipulate that it is not purely for lifetime achievement but must also recognize current activity. In this respect, we also commend Susan’s continuing work on the “Green Laboratory” project. At one level, this is a classic study of the impact of regulation. At another, it tells a story about the encounter between law and the university that has profound implications for us all. Will regulatory law restructure university science – with inevitable consequences for many of us here as other departments are forced to adopt similar models? Or will university science restructure regulatory law, creating a competitor to the bureaucratic models that have dominated for a generation and more? This is the kind of ambitious question that Susan has addressed throughout her career, an ambition that the Kalven prize justly acknowledges.|
|Jean and John Comaroff both individually and together are leading figures in cultural anthropology, renowned especially for their joint work on legality as a register of history, consciousness, and contemporary politics of culture. Their ethnographic analyses of law as a site of indigenous agency in colonial and postcolonial South Africa, and as a cultural context for the emergence of rights consciousness out of colonial experience, have influenced many scholars. Their contribution to the empirical study of law and society in the broadest sense has been to theorize the processes through which culture becomes recognizable as social identity. They have made major contributions to field-based ethnographic methodology on key questions of agency, creativity, power and meaning (and their interrelationships). Their projects discern and probe evidence of consciousness, contestation and context that make imagination simultaneously an ethnographic question and a force of history. Their work keyed to repertoires of signs and practices in open-ended dialectics delves deeply into the specificities of ethnography and history for the meanings (always plural) of the moment. Their influence, from their early careers in the UK to their present eminence in the US, is no doubt partly a reflection of the dedication and energy they bring to their collegiality and pedagogy. They are famously devoted teachers and generous colleagues. But the creativity and importance of their ethnographic approach is evident all along the lengthy trail of their published work, through its ethnographic openings and innovative debates over the legality of culture and the culturality of law, in theory and practice.|
|2007||Sally Engle Merry||Sally Merry is a prolific scholar, who has produced a substantial, original, and consistently high quality body of empirical scholarship spanning more than a quarter century. Her empirical, often ethnographic, research is characterized by meticulous attention to detail and is well grounded in the actual operation of legal systems. Yet the work simultaneously implicates fundamental themes of law and society research. In investigating the role of law in social change, for example, Merry has highlighted as well as any scholar the meaning making role of law, the interplay of resistance to and appropriation of legal norms, and the contradictory relation of law and inequality. Law may legitimate, and thereby entrench, inequalities of gender, race, or class. However, law may also challenge such unjust hierarchies and facilitate social change. Merry’s work reminds that the consequences of law very much depend on the local context, the critical features of which Merry has illuminated partly through comparative analysis of different social or national settings. While intellectually rigorous, her scholarship is also socially meaningful and policy relevant. In addressing questions of human rights and violence against women in particular, Merry demonstrates that the best of scholarship need not abandon a commitment to social justice. Merry has also played an important role in the institutional development of law and society research.|
|2006||Robert A. Kagan||Robert Kagan is widely known for the significance and breadth of his empirical scholarship and for advancing major lines of research. His central contributions cut across studies of the courts, regulatory decision-making, administrative rulemaking, and the legal profession. Bringing a comparative institutions perspective, it is notable that his work has examined legal processes over time and across contexts. It is equally as notable that Kagan's expansiveness has led to the pursuit of collaborative research with scholars also rich and diverse in their perspectives and lines of inquiry.|
|2005||Sally Falk Moore||Sally Falk Moore has devoted nearly half a century to thinking profoundly about the foundational issues in law and society, in African studies, and in anthropology more generally. Moore speaks to many audiences at once. She generates new anthropological knowledge, but also contributes to important policy debates. She was a global scholar before anyone had a term for this point of departure. Her career is enviably long, brilliant, engaged, and productive. She was, in her first professional life, a lawyer and prosecutor of Nazi war crimes in the famous Nuremberg trials. Moore respects human creativity and ingenuity. She shows her respect in arguing for democratic procedures in development. Moore remains optimistic and passionate about the potential for human improvement through knowledge. She shows this in her continuing devotion to research and writing. Moore believes that human misery demands an explanation, and efforts to change that situation. Africa is a continuing focus of her research, not only because it is interesting, but also because its circumstances are tragic.|
|2004||John Braithwaite||Braithwaite's prolific contributions include three distinct lines of scholarly work, on corporate wrongdoing, international business regulation, and restorative justice, all of which speak to different aspects of social control. His work inspires law professors, criminologists, social scientists of law, activists, and legal practitioners. He contributes regularly to policy debates over law, crime and justice, and the promotion of legal reformers in Australia and elsewhere in the world.|
|2003||Philip Selznick||Selznick's work, which is still in progress, spans over sixty years and several disciplinary domains. He has been a major figure in each of the fields he has touched, and one of a very few to have been an influential participant in them all. His books, Law, Society, and Industrial Justice (1969) and Law and Society in Transition: Toward Responsive Law (1978, with P. Nonet) continue to influence and stimulate work in law and society. He also played an important role for the field in the creation and direction of the Center for Study of Law and Society (UC-Berkeley)|
|2002|| Jane Collier
|Collier has been one of the central figures
shaping work in legal anthropology in the past thirty years. Her work in
Chiapas, which begin in the mid-1960s and continues into the present has
focused on the ways that growing class divisions between rich and poor that
accompany the spread of wage labor contribute to transformations in legal
procedures that disintegrate local communities.
Trubek has had a long and productive career as a law and society scholar. His early work (in the 60s and 70s) was on "law and development," focused on Brazil. The second stage of his scholarship explored the intersections between critical legal studies and the mainstream of law and society scholarship. The more recent phase, has focused on globalization of law, with particular emphases on labor relations and issues related to transformations in legal practice.
|2001||Stuart Scheingold||Scheingold's inquiries regarding law as a tradition of discourse, the "symbolic" power and politics of law, and how understandings and beliefs about law shape legal practice -- all anticipated, interacted with, and contributed to the "interpretative turn" in sociolegal studies over the last two decades. As such, his intellectual legacy is both broad and deep. At the heart of all Scheingold's work is a deep concern for analyzing both the promises and, especially, the failings of law in securing justice with social relations. It is this combination of commitment to social justice and a boldly original scholarly agenda that has marked his important influence on law and society inquiry.|
|2000||E. Allan Lind
Tom R. Tyler
|Although both Lind and Tyler have made significant independent contributions as sociolegal scholars, their collaborative work in the social psychology of justice, and in particular in the area of procedural justice, represents the sort of "paradigm shifting" scholarship that the Kalven Prize is intended to honor. By articulating fundamental questions regarding the consciousness of legal structures and procedures, Tyler and Lind's work has served as a catalyst within the field. Their research employs the distinctive methodological and conceptual tools of social psychology. Yet even scholars who do not share their social psychological perspective have profitably appropriated their conceptual and analytic innovations. Our understanding of justice as an empirical concept has been forever altered by their work.|
|1999||Martha L. Fineman
Joel F. Handler
|For her intellectual
leadership in the study of gender, law, and the family. Her empirical
examination of the legal and social work discourses applied in custory
cases to critique "equality"-based reforms and her subsequent
work on the discourses through which welfare and single mothers are
represented within legal and political frames have been provocative and
powerful, as have her theoretical proposals, based on empirical research,
for re-envisioning the role of law in families and marriage
For outstanding research contributions spanning three decades. In focusing on "social reform groups" Handler has taken up significant theoretical questions about relational dynamics – of the individual to the group, and of groups to the state. He is a leading scholar on poverty, welfare, and the state. The wide reach of his work is demonstrated by the substantial attention it has achieved in the fields of political sociology, political science, social work, public policy, education, and law, as well as in sociolegal studies.
|For work that
exemplifies the finest in sociological research on informal justice. In
his careful field work and analysis, he has significantly contributed to
our understanding of the uses of discretion, the influence of legal
counsel, and the role of cultural differences in the interpretation
of meaningful explanations. He has also made important contributions in
recent social scientific writing and in his widely used and respected
volume, An Invitation to Law and Social Science: Deserts, Disputes and
For his major contributions to the field of sociolegal research by combining careful empirical and conceptual work on violence and the law in its varied forms; and for his intellectual leadership in introducing new methodologies and traditions of scholarship to the law and sociology field.
|Each is a major figure whose separate work has brought important currents into law and society in its formative period and helped configure the field, and who have each continued to make substantial and original contributions. Each, also, is an individual whose intellectual versatility and energy have contributed to the interdisciplinary dialogue at the core of the law and society enterprise.|
|1993||Marc Galanter||For his landmark empirical studies of law and social change in India and equally impressive empirical studies in the United States, most recently focusing on large American law firms, resulting in (with Thomas Palay, 1991) Tournament of Lawyers: The Transformation of the Big Law Firm.|
|1992||Lawrence Friedman||For his prolific writing and empirical studies, past and recent, that have touched many of the major themes in the law and society movement and for the influence on scholars in the law and society community of his ideas, values and dedication.|
|1989||Richard Abel||In recognition of his extensive body of comparative work on the legal profession; his research on lawyers is a distinguished and influential example of the best in research on law and society|
|1987||John Heinz and Edward Lauman
David Baldus, Charles Pulaski,
|For the quality
of empirical work and rigorous analysis demonstrated in Chicago
Lawyers: The Social Structure of the Bar.
For the quality of work directed to significant issues of social and legal policy in a series of articles that analyze death penalty sentencing patterns in a systematic way.
|1983||Hans Ziesel||For his major contribution to the literature of law and society and his work with Kalven on The American Jury|