A legal system is an integral part of a nation's political system. It provides mechanisms for implementing and reformulating public policies, for resolving individual and group conflicts, and for holding political and economic processes to certain standards of fairness. This course will examine selected features of the American legal system and the ways it deals with basic social problems, e.g., regulating criminal law enforcement, controlling physical hazards that stem from industrial technology, and regulating the struggle for economic power. Readings and lectures will compare how the American legal system's approach to these problems has changed over time and how and why it differs from other nations' legal systems.
This course falls within the American Politics/Public Law and Jurisprudence subfields.
Readings will consist of articles, book excerpts, and court cases incorporated into a reader prepared by the instructor.