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Political Research Exchange

Legal Mobilisation: Europe in Comparative Perspective

Workshop Number
14
Workshop Director
Christine Rothmayr Allison
Université de Montréal
Workshop Co-Director
Lisa Vanhala
University College London

Abstract
Scholarly interest in the mobilization of law and legal norms by citizens and collective actors and the impact of this activity on politics and social change has long featured in studies of American politics. In Europe however, research on legal activity was long the exclusive remit of legal scholars and the subject was only of peripheral interest to political scientists. However, with the growth of regulatory models of governance, increasing processes of legalization at both the state and supranational level, the rising influence of judicial institutions, EU enlargement, enhanced levels of access to justice and the growing prominence of rights talk among citizens, corporate firms and social movements, legal mobilization research is moving to centre stage among scholars who study political processes in European national and supranational settings. In order to develop a better theoretical understanding of the mechanisms at play, the goal of this workshop is two-fold: 1) to empirically explore cross-national and cross-policy field variation in levels of legal mobilization activity, rates of success and resulting judicial and policy decisions beyond a single setting, and 2) to contribute to developing a synthetic theoretical framework that accounts for both structural and contingent features that encourage or constrain litigation activity and success. The multiplicity of legal systems and institutions, on the national and EU level, form a unique socio-legal institutional context and offer many research puzzles. This workshop will take stock of existing research, debate theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of legal mobilization and move the empirical research agenda forward. Empirically-oriented comparative studies, which engage and challenge existing theoretical foundations are particularly welcomed. The overall aim of all papers should be to attempt to account for variation in legal mobilization activity and judicial policy-making across policy-fields or across countries. The goal is to identify and analyze patterns of legal mobilization and resulting judicial and policy decisions beyond a single setting in order to develop a better theoretical understanding of the mechanisms at play. The workshop welcomes qualitative as well as quantitative studies and is open to research from various epistemological points of view.

Paper List


Title Details
Critiquing Kitschelt: Litigation Levels and Opportunity Structures in Cross-National Focus View Paper Details
Equal Pay Rights and Legal Mobilisation: A Tricky Strategy for Trade Unions in Great-Britain? (1960-2010) View Paper Details
Ethnic minorities in the Strasbourg Court: Cross-national and Cross-issue Dynamics in Human Rights Legal Mobilisation View Paper Details
How does Judicial Mobilisation Contribute to Frame Bridging in the Policy Process? The Case of Donor Conceived Children’s Right to Know their Biological Origins in Canada and the United Kingdom View Paper Details
Impacts of Courts on Policy Implementation in a Federal State: Evidence from the Disability Insurance in Switzerland View Paper Details
In the name of the People: Legal Mobilisation against EU Acts View Paper Details
Increasing Legal Mobilisation in the Field of EU Competition Policy: From Procedural Autonomy to “Soft” Codification” View Paper Details
Institutionalising and Mobilising LGBT Rights in Cities: Anti-discrimination Policy in New York and Barcelona View Paper Details
Law as Weapon of the Weak? A Comparative Analysis of Roma and Women’s Groups Legal Mobilisation at the EU Level View Paper Details
Legal Mobilisation against Workplace Discrimination in Belgium and Sweden: Transnationalism and Convergence in Internal Decision-Making? View Paper Details
Legal Mobilisation: Insights from the Practice View Paper Details
Pleural Plaques, Tort and Social Justice: Is Adversarial Legalism Taking Root in the UK? View Paper Details
Socialising Crime: Biography, Legitimacy and Collective Memory in the Criminal Defence Strategies of Social Movement Activists View Paper Details
The Aarhus Convention and the Diffusion of Environmental Rights View Paper Details
The Impact of Legal Mobilisation Compared: Policy Change for Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Europe and North-America View Paper Details
The Journey to Strasbourg and Back: A Comparative Analysis of Turkish and Bulgarian Litigation on Political Rights for Minorities View Paper Details
The Role of Discursive Opportunity Structure in Legal Mobilisation by Social Movements View Paper Details
Theorising Legal Mobilisation View Paper Details
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