Law and Politics: The Problem of Boundaries

Martin Shapiro

in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199208425
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 Law and Politics: The Problem of Boundaries

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Law and politics is one of the many “law and...” movements that have arisen in recent years, the most notable of which, of course, is law and economics. If we accept the vision of law and politics as a movement of political scientists who use their knowledge of the discipline of law to improve their scholarly performance as political scientists, we lunge into the definitional vagaries and boundary uncertainties of the subfields of political science. It would be most convenient to view law and politics as involving two overlapping but not coterminous specializations; one, law and politics, that, growing out of the historical concern of political scientists with public law, brings an expertise in law to the political science study of highly legally constrained government behavior; the other, law and courts, which consciously throws off the public law boundaries to study all of the behavior of courts.

Keywords: law; politics; political science; public law; government; courts

Article.  3762 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Politics and Law

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