The Limits of Law: The Public Regulation of Private Pollution

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Overview

This book examines the systematic constraints on U.S. law enforcement agencies' efforts to regulate business behavior. It looks specifically at the postwar development of laws regulating water pollution and at the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to enforce them. The discussion traces the factors leading to legal change and analyzes the ways in which the impacts of environmental laws vary from their stated purposes and goals, even under relatively favorable conditions for their enforcement. It shows how legal processes and social relations mutually constrain and shape one another as the state struggles to manage often contradictory responsibilities, in this case to encourage both economic growth and environmental welfare. The book is principally directed at social scientists and their students in the areas of sociology of law, public policy, political sociology, political economy and criminology. It is also directed at legal and policy practitioners in environmental regulation and educated lay readers concerned with environmental policy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The discussion includes an extensive 20-page bibliography. The bibliography is particulary useful for legal scholars because the resources listed are primarily sociological in perspective and therefore not found through the use of legal periodical indexes. The audience is upper division or graduate school level. The book is recommended for academic law libraries and for libraries supporting programs or practices with an environmental or regulatory emphasis." Legal Publishing Preview

"The Limits of Law provides a well-researched, concise history of the evolution of attempts to reduce industrial pollution of U.S. waterways from 1948 through the 1980s." Lettie McSpadden Wenner, American Journal of Sociology

"In sum, Yeager chronicles the historical interplay among competing forces with insight, tenacious scholarship, and a convincing willingness to confront complexity and contradictions. His book is always clear, informed, and fair. It is frequently graceful." David Ermann, Contemporary Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521365352
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/25/1991
  • Pages: 383
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. The social production of business offenses; 2. Bringing the law back in: an integrated approach; 3. The politics of water: pollution policies to 1970; 4. Contradiction and change: environmental consciousness and the mobilization of law; 5. Legislating clean water: changing conceptions of environmental rights; 6. Controls and constraints: from law to regulation; 7. Enforcement: the social production of environmental offenses; Conclusions.

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