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Consequences: The Impact of Law and Its Complexity Paperback – February 2, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


'Consequences is a fascinating and important book. Bogart has written a classic example of sociolegal scholarship. It is timely and yet connected to venerable issues in sociolegal studies of law, and displays great mastery of a very important subject.'

(Austin Sarat, Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, Department of Political Science, Amherst College.)

'This is a beautiful piece of scholarship: well crafted and thoroughly researched, it is a deep contribution to legal writing. Magisterial in sweep, thoughtful, and engagingly written, this is a well-developed and mature piece of scholarship. It is one of those rare academic books, which manages to be accessible and highly readable without sacrificing rigour. This is first-rate stuff.'

(Wesley Pue, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia)

About the Author

W.A Bogart is Professor of Law at the University of Windsor.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (February 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802084567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802084569
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,513,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Nina Leijon on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This brilliant expose of the complex interaction between law and society (and of the role of law in society) relies predominantly on North American material, but the questions posed by Bogart about the consequences of getting the balance wrong are universal. The book reflects on big questions: what are the objectives of law? Can, and should, law transform social and political relationships? Is its purpose to reflect societal standards by codifying accepted norms, or is it to progress and develop a society towards greater enlightenment?
The answers naturally depend on one's own ideology in part. Bogart uses environmental law as an example of the political dichotomy: the Left argues that current US environmental regulation doesn't go far enough in achieving change, while the Right believes the law has already gone too far.
If the usefulness of law is contested, why then have Western societies seen such a proliferation of legislation in recent decades? Bogart has two explanations. The first is the breakdown of other rules and norms in society, with law becoming a necessary subsitute to civic engagement (drawing on Putnam's 'Bowling Alone' argument). The second views legislation as supplanting politics across the ideological spectrum: with faith in government on the decline, law is increasingly seen as the means to achieve particular short-term goals. In the US the result, Bogart argues, has been an obsession with in particular individual rights that has trumped other values and created a 'culture of complaint'.
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