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  1. Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law
    Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law
    Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law
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  2. Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law

    [0674006216]
    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (5 reviews)
    Price R1448.00

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Additional Information

American methods of policy implementation and dispute resolution are more adversarial and legalistic when compared with the systems of other economically advanced countries. Americans more often rely on legal threats and lawsuits. American laws are generally more complicated and prescriptive, adjudication more costly, and penalties more severe. In a thoughtful and cogently argued book, Robert Kagan examines the origins and consequences of this system of "adversarial legalism."

Kagan describes the roots of adversarial legalism and the deep connections it has with American political institutions and values. He investigates its social costs as well as the extent to which lawyers perpetuate it. Ranging widely across many legal fields, including criminal law, environmental regulations, tort law, and social insurance programs, he provides comparisons with the legal and regulatory systems of western Europe, Canada, and Japan that point to possible alternatives to the American methods.

Kagan notes that while adversarial legalism has many virtues, its costs and unpredictability often alienate citizens from the law and frustrate the quest for justice. This insightful study deepens our understanding of law and its relationship to politics in America and raises valuable questions about the future of the American legal system.

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Specifications

Country
USA
Author
Robert A. Kagan
Binding
Hardcover
Brand
Brand: Harvard University Press
EAN
9780674006218
Edition
1st
Feature
Used Book in Good Condition
ISBN
0674006216
Label
Harvard University Press
Manufacturer
Harvard University Press
NumberOfItems
1
NumberOfPages
320
PublicationDate
2001-12-15
Publisher
Harvard University Press
Studio
Harvard University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

The book is a brilliant description about why similar problems abound in many different areas of law (criminal, civil, regulatory, social welfare). Adversarial legalism has its roots in fundamental mistrust of government in USA. This leads to multiple overlapping jurisdictions and the need to turn to the courts to achieve policy gains. Agency officials are hamstrung by so many requirements that they cannot apply their expertise. Instead we have a lawyer/judge centered system. Our system is less elite focused than in Europe/Japan but is also in many ways leads to less egalitarian outcomes and a decisionmaking process that takes years often without a corresponding benefit to justify the delays.

In sector after sector, Kagan demonstrates how the fracturing of authority between branches, agencies, and levels of government leads to policies that no one would describe as "first best" or even "second best" but rather ugly compromises between competing... Read more
Kagan is a political scientist and a lawyer who has no illusions about the shortcomings of the U.S. legal system. Unlike the "tort reform" crowd, he shares many of the political ideals of activist lawyers, but he does not share their delusions about the costs and benefits of the strategies they pursue. The American culture of adversarial legalism may fuel rights consciousness that encourages citizens to stand up for themselves, but also all too often under or over compensates victims, missing the target of consistent and fair compensation. The rhetoric of activist lawyers obscures the degree to which litigation impairs the basic functions of American government, obstructing the pursuit of social justice through government rather than the courts. NB, the author is not the "Of Paradise and Power" conservative Robert Kagan. This Kagan spent his career conducting comparative studies of the effectiveness of different regulatory strategies in increasing workplace safety, protecting the... Read more
This book was excellent to write on for my law school seminar in law and society in global perspective. It gave me many opportunities to select a focus from the many things that Kegan writes. I highly recommend the book.
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