Making Rights Real: Activists, Bureaucrats, and the Creation of the Legalistic State

Making Rights Real: Activists, Bureaucrats, and the Creation of the Legalistic State

by Charles R. Epp
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226211649

ISBN-13: 9780226211640

Pub. Date: 01/15/2010

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

It's a common complaint: the United States is overrun by rules and procedures that shackle professional judgment, have no valid purpose, and serve only to appease courts and lawyers. Charles R. Epp argues, however, that few Americans would want to return to an era without these legalistic policies, which in the 1970s and 1980s helped bring recalcitrant

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Overview

It's a common complaint: the United States is overrun by rules and procedures that shackle professional judgment, have no valid purpose, and serve only to appease courts and lawyers. Charles R. Epp argues, however, that few Americans would want to return to an era without these legalistic policies, which in the 1970s and 1980s helped bring recalcitrant bureaucracies into line with a growing national commitment to civil rights and individual dignity.

Focusing on three disparate policy areas-workplace sexual harassment, playground safety, and police brutality in both the United States and the United Kingdom-Epp explains how activists and administrative professionals used legal liability, lawsuit-generated publicity, and innovative managerial ideas to pursue the implementation of new rights. Where previous analyses cast rights policies as symbolic responses to vague legal mandates, Making Rights Real shows how interaction between social activists and reform-oriented managers fostered frameworks that made institutions accountable through intricate rules, employee training, and managerial oversight. Explaining how these practices became ubiquitous across bureaucratic organizations, Epp casts today's legalistic state in an entirely new light.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226211640
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
01/15/2010
Series:
Chicago Series in Law and Society Series
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments


1
Introduction

2 Theory: The Fertile Fear of Liability

3 The Problem with Policing

4 Liability’s Triumph

5 Policing’s Epiphany

6 Spreading the Word: Variations among Police Departments

7 Tort Liability and Police Reform in Britain

8 Sexual Harassment

9 Playground Safety

10 Conclusion

Methodological Appendix

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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