Friday, October 12, 2007

This Week's Featured Book

The Featured Book of the Book is Judges and Their Audiences: A Perspective on Judicial Behavior by Lawrence Baum and published by Princeton University Press.

“What motivates judges as decision makers?.. The conventional scholarly wisdom holds that judges on higher courts seek only to make good law, good policy, or both. In these theories, judges are influenced by other people only in limited ways, in consequence of their legal and policy goals. In contrast, Baum argues that the influence of judges' audiences is pervasive. This influence derives from judges' interest in popularity and respect, a motivation central to most people… Judges and Their Audiences uses research in social psychology to make the case that audiences shape judges' choices in substantial ways. Drawing on a broad range of scholarship on judicial decision-making and an array of empirical evidence, the book then analyzes the potential and actual impact of several audiences, including the public, other branches of government, court colleagues, the legal profession, and judges' social peers. Engagingly written, this book provides a deeper understanding of key issues concerning judicial behavior on which scholars disagree, identifies aspects of judicial behavior that diverge from the assumptions of existing models, and shows how those models can be strengthened.” - Book Description

“An original contribution to the study of judicial politics that draws from the field of social psychology to suggest a radically new approach to the study of decisional behavior.”- Sheldon Goldman, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Judges and Their Audiences will be available to borrow after Friday, October 19, 2007

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