LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW
VOLUME 57 | NUMBER 3
Relational legal consciousness in the punitive welfare state: How Dutch welfare officials shape clients’ perceptions of law
With a growing number of strict obligations and harsh sanctions for welfare recipients, the Netherlands has increasingly become a punitive welfare state. This article looks at what this means for welfare clients and their commonsense understandings of the law. To analyze how welfare officials shape clients’ legal consciousness, I draw on an online survey among Dutch welfare clients (N = 1305) and a correlation analysis. The findings show that there is a clear relationship between welfare clients’ own legal consciousness and their assessment of welfare officials’ beliefs about the law. However, not all elements of their legal consciousness are relationally influenced by the same factors. Also, clients’ self-reported compliance behavior is less relationally influenced than other elements of their legal consciousness. This study adds to our understanding of the mechanisms that constitute the production of relational and second-order legal consciousness and it contributes to the development of new research methods to study people’s perceptions of law.
Hollow law and utilitarian law: The devaluing of deportation hearings in New York City and Paris
How is law made worthless to the marginalized? Drawing on ethnographic observations in Paris and New York City, I establish a typology of devaluation practices in deportation hearings. I analyze how informal court practices devalue court actors, the hearing, and the law itself. Despite different levels of formal protections for migrants, deportation adjudication is pared down and devalued in both cities. This devaluation, however, followed distinct logics. New York hearings were characterized by a utilitarian law logic, where process and ritualistic elements deemed inessential were shed, leaving a stripped-down core focused on case processing. The minimal protections available to migrants were weakened further. By contrast, hollow law emerged in Parisian hearings, where everyday court practices eroded the more generous protections granted to migrants through formal law. While analyses of immigration adjudication have focused on decision-making, determinants of legal outcomes, and the interpretation of formal criteria, I instead conceptualize the courtroom as a space where value is actively unmade through informal practices, drawing on insights from the sociology of valuation and evaluation.
Discursive mismatch and globalization by stealth: The fight against corruption in the Brazilian legal field
Law and globalization studies have documented how Global South lawyers compete over the adaptation of international norms. Yet, little is known about how this adaptation legitimates worldviews beyond the law. To advance this literature, this paper proposes a discourse-centered field analysis of the legal globalization of anti-corruption ideas in Brazil. It examines Brazilian lawyers’ disputes over a 2016 anti-corruption bill. The bill supporters mobilize global anti-corruption discourses that are exogenous to the legal field to defend harsher criminal law. Their critics counter the reform by mobilizing endogenous legal ideas against criminal law expansion. In so doing, they do not challenge reformers’ ideas about corruption. I show how this discursive mismatch leads to a form of globalization by stealth, whereby local dynamics allow global ideas to remain unchallenged in local fields.
Editors’ introduction to special memorial issue honoring professor Lauren B. Edelman
Katharina Heyer, Ashley Rubin, Shauhin Talesh
Remembrances of Lauren B. Edelman both personal and professional
A tribute to Lauren Edelman
Laurie in Paris. Diffusion, discussion and influences of Lauren Edelman’s work in France
Taking workers’ rights to unexpected places
Mark Fathi Massoud
To help prevent discrimination, particularly against women and ethnic minorities, policymakers in the United States (US) have written and passed civil rights laws that require employers to address hate or harassment at workplaces. Sometimes, however, the programs that corporate managers create do not actually give workers a full opportunity to resolve their complaints; the programs are, instead, symbolic attempts to comply with federal and state civil rights legislation. Moreover, judges have come to see the mere existence of these programs, inadequate as they are, as evidence that corporations protect workers’ rights.
Lauren B. Edelman (1955–2023) and I have approached this problem of how workers achieve their rights by studying it in two very different contexts—Edelman in the US, and me in South Sudan. This essay honors Edelman’s body of scholarship by describing what I learned about workers’ rights in a context—a new nation emerging from civil war—radically different from the North American corporations and courts that Edelman studied. More personally, I also share what I learned from Edelman—as her student and, later, her professional colleague—about designing and executing a research project and writing up the results for an interdisciplinary audience.
How to train a student
Laurie Edelman: Scholarship and mentorship in action
Brent K. Nakamura
Creative confluence: Lauren Edelman’s collaborations
Rachel Kahn Best, Yan Fang, Catherine Fisk, Linda Hamilton Krieger, Todd Neece, Diana Reddy
Learning from Laurie Edelman
Catherine R. Albiston, Osagie K. Obasogie, Calvin Morrill
Global burning: Rising antidemocracy and the climate crisis. By Eve Darian-Smith. Stanford: Stanford University press, 2022. 230 pp. $22.00 paperback
The myth of the community fix: Inequality and the politics of youth punishment. By Sarah D. Cate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023. 268 pp. $99.00 hardcover
William S. Bush
Justice in Lyon: Klaus Barbie and France’s first trial for crimes against humanity. By Richard J. Golsan. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022. 330 pp. $39.95 paperback
Stacked decks: Building inspectors and the reproduction of urban inequality. By Robin Bartram. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022. 224 pp. $27.50 paperback
An equal place: Lawyers in the struggle for Los Angeles. By Scott L. Cummings. New York: Oxford University Press. 2021. 688 pp. $49.95 hardcover