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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155483 Find in a Library
Title: Making Law: The State, the Law, and Structural Contradictions
Editor(s): W J Chambliss; M S Zatz
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 459
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University Press
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
Publication Number: ISBN 0-253-20834-3
Sale Source: Indiana University Press
Promotion Manager
601 N. Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book constructs a general theory of lawmaking that focuses on the issue of why laws are enacted.
Abstract: Legal scholars, sociologists, political scientists, and anthropologists present papers designed to develop and refine a structural theory of law. The theory proposed disavows the claims of the ruling class, as well as consensus and pluralist theories, and suggests instead that an adequate theory of lawmaking must begin with an understanding of the structural constraints in the political, economic, and social relations of the time. Each section of the book corresponds to a central theoretical concept. Part I, which pertains to "Structural Contradictions," contains Chambliss' original model on lawmaking and four chapters that focus on the significance of contradictory structural and historical forces that operate within and upon a given society. Specific topics discussed include the political economy of opium and heroin, the contradictions of corrections, and anti- democratic legislation in the service of democracy in Israel. Part II, which develops and elaborates the role of ideology, contains chapters that discuss the theoretical underpinnings of changes in the form and content of Cuban criminal law, how social change has impacted worker-safety law in Italy, and a relational model of the state that explains the emergence of law and public policy. Part II contains chapters on particular conflicts and dilemmas that influence lawmaking. Discussions address the contradictions of immigration lawmaking, a class-dialectical model of power, and state-organized crime and homicide. Part IV considers strategies and triggering events in lawmaking. Part V presents conclusions and suggests future directions for research and theory-development. Chapter references and a subject index
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Corrections policies; Economic influences; Immigration offenses; Jurisprudence; Occupational safety and health; Social classes; Sociology of law; State sponsored terrorism
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