Political scientists have played an important role in the law and society movement through wide ranging studies of various phenomena. Their research has tended to focus on the study of institutions, particularly judges and courts, differentials in the bargaining power of litigants, and the role of law in social movements. This entry provides an overview of the different types of research political scientists have conducted on legal matters. It is noteworthy that the contributions of these scholars have varied considerably not only with respect to methodology but also to the topics chosen.

While much of the early work in the United States dealt with American legal institutions, primarily judicial politics, increasingly there has been a trend in political science toward taking more comparative and global approaches ...

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