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Making Law and Courts Research Relevant

The Normative Implications of Empirical Research

Authors: Brandon L. Bartels, Chris W. Bonneau Publisher: Taylor and Francis Publication date: 2014 Publication language: Angielski Number of pages: 261 Publication formats: EAN: 9781317693468 DOI: 10.4324/9781315777436 ISBN: 9781317693468 Category: Law Publisher's index: 9781315777436 Bibliographic note: -


One of the more enduring topics of concern for empirically-oriented scholars of law and courts—and political scientists more generally—is how research can be more directly relevant to broader audiences outside of academia. A significant part of this issue goes back to a seeming disconnect between empirical and normative scholars of law and courts that has increased in recent years.

Brandon L. Bartels and Chris W. Bonneau argue that being attuned to the normative implications of one’s work enhances the quality of empirical work, not to mention makes it substantially more interesting to both academics and non-academic practitioners. Their book’s mission is to examine how the normative implications of empirical work in law and courts can be more visible and relevant to audiences beyond academia. Written by scholars of political science, law, and sociology, the chapters in the volume offer ideas on a methodology for communicating normative implications in a balanced, nuanced, and modest manner. The contributors argue that if empirical work is strongly suggestive of certain policy or institutional changes, scholars should make those implications known so that information can be diffused. The volume consists of four sections that respectively address the general enterprise of developing normative implications of empirical research, law and decisionmaking, judicial selection, and courts in the broader political and societal context.

This volume represents the start of a conversation on the topic of how the normative implications of empirical research in law and courts can be made more visible. This book will primarily interest scholars of law and courts, as well as students of judicial politics. Other subfields of political science engaging in empirical research will also find the suggestions made in the book relevant.


  • Cover 2
  • Title 5
  • Copyright 6
  • Dedication 7
  • List of Figures 12
  • List of Tables 13
  • Preface 14
  • Acknowledgments 18
  • PART I The Enterprise of Normative Implications of Empirical Research 21
    • 1 The Normative Implications of Empirical Research: A Research Agenda 23
    • 2 Some Ideas on How Political Scientists Can Develop Real-World Implications from Their Research (Without Becoming Policy Wonks 34
  • PART II Law and Decisionmaking 47
    • 3 The Rule of Law and the Empirical Study of Rules 49
    • 4 Judicial Behavior and Judicial Review 58
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