Share this

How Policy Shapes Politics: Rights, Courts, Litigation, and the Struggle over Injury Compensation, Jeb Barnes and Thomas F. Burke

Reviewed by Lisa Marshall Manheim

BUY

 

It is easy, and unexceptional, to criticize litigation as a means of policymaking. Much more difficult, and rare, is demonstrating the extent to which litigation differs—for better or worse—from its alternatives.

Through an insightful and lively examination of injury compensation policies, How Policy Shapes Politics attempts such comparison by pitting two contrasting modes of policymaking, termed “adversarial legalism” and “bureaucratic legalism,” against one another. Three case studies selected by the authors illustrate the terms. The hierarchically determined rules and socialized funding of Social Security Disability Insurance provide an example of bureaucratic legalism. The waves of court battles defining the United States’ response to the asbestos crisis illustrate a form of adversarial legalism. The third case study—involving vaccines and the injuries they cause—features policy that fluctuates between the two poles.

By exploring the politics that are implicated over time and across these contrasting policy regimes, How Policy Shapes Politics considers a subtler critique of adversarial legalism—that it comes with too high a political cost—and finds that the much-maligned mode of policymaking fares surprisingly well. The authors’ evidence does not, for exampl

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

North Korea and the West

The Debate over North Korea
VICTOR D. CHA AND DAVID C. KANG

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS