Seventeen thought-provoking essays in this sophisticated yet accessible reader demonstrate how political scientists conduct research on law, courts, and the judicial process, and at the same time answer interesting, substantive questions. Illustrating the breadth and depth of judicial politics studies, the essays convey to students the array of contemporary thinking – both theoretical and methodological – at work in the field.
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The book's five parts cover subjects taught in most judicial politics courses. Because each chapter stands alone, instructors have the flexibility of assigning less than the whole book or chapters in a different order. Topics examined range from information used by voters electing judges to the credibility of victims of sexualized violence.
Accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, Contemplating Courts offers fascinating views into both the law and courts field and the research process itself. Epstein provides in the first chapter an overview of the key elements of judicial process research and defines key terms. Technical notes and methodology appendices offer students additional guidance.