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How Policy Shapes PoliticsRights, Courts, Litigation, and the Struggle Over Injury Compensation$
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Jeb Barnes and Thomas F. Burke

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756117.001.0001

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(p.190) 6 Conclusion
How Policy Shapes Politics

Jeb Barnes

Thomas F. Burke

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes that, contrary to conventional wisdom, adversarial legalism does not “crowd out” other forms of politics, create uniquely path-dependent outcomes, or generate a unified backlash. Instead, it generates a more fractious politics as compared to bureaucratic legalism. In the cases in the book, the politics of adversarial legalism starts in a decentralized way, with individual lawsuits against individual defendants. When litigation gains momentum, however, a fractious interest group politics develops in Congress, with parties divided among winners and losers, victims and villains. The bureaucratic legalism cases in the book had an inverse trajectory, in which the scope of political conflict narrowed over time. In those cases creation was the most contentious stage, but after that a less-contested interest group politics emerged, with business interests largely deferring to key members of Congress and experts. The chapter ends by urging scholars to adopt the book’s comparative developmental approach to studying the politics of judicialization in other contexts.

Keywords:   comparative developmental approach, adversarial legalism, bureaucratic legalism, crowd out, backlash, path dependent

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