Wildy logo
(020) 7242 5778

Wildy’s Book News

Book News cover photo

Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

Pupillage & Student Offers

Special Discounts for Pupils, Newly Called & Students

Read More ...

Secondhand & Out of Print

Browse Secondhand Online


The Expressive Powers of Law: Theories and Limits (eBook)

ISBN13: 9780674967205
Published: March 2015
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: eBook (ePub)
Price: £24.96 + £4.99 VAT
The amount of VAT charged may change depending on your location of use.

Once the order is confirmed an automated e-mail will be sent to you to allow you to download the eBook.

All eBooks are supplied firm sale and cannot be returned. If you believe there is a fault with your eBook then contact us on ebooks@wildy.com and we will help in resolving the issue. This does not affect your statutory rights.

This eBook is available in the following formats: ePub.

In stock.
Need help with ebook formats?

Also available as

When asked why people obey the law, legal scholars usually give two answers. Law deters illicit activities by specifying sanctions, and it possesses legitimate authority in the eyes of society.

Richard McAdams shifts the prism on this familiar question to offer another compelling explanation of how the law creates compliance: through its expressive power to coordinate our behavior and inform our beliefs. People seek order, and they sometimes obtain a mutually shared benefit when each expects the other to behave in accordance with law. Traffic regulations, for example, coordinate behavior by expressing an orderly means of driving. A traffic sign that tells one driver to yield to another creates expectations in the minds of both drivers and so allows each to avoid collision. McAdams generalizes from traffic to constitutional and international law and many other domains. In addition to its coordinating function, law expresses information. Legislation reveals something important about the risks of the behavior being regulated, and social attitudes toward it. Anti-smoking laws, for example, signal both the lawmakers recognition of the health risks associated with smoking and the public s general disapproval. This information causes individuals to update their beliefs and alter their behavior. McAdams shows how an expressive theory explains the law s sometimes puzzling efficacy, as when tribunals are able to resolve disputes even though they lack coercive power or legitimacy.

The Expressive Powers of Law contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms by which law simply by what it says rather than what it sanctions generates compliance.

Jurisprudence, Other Jurisdictions , eBooks, USA
List of Figures
Introduction: Alternatives to Deterrence and Legitimacy
1. Expressive Claims About Law
2. The Focal Point Power of Expression
3. Law as Focal Point
4. Law’s Focal Power in Dynamic Perspective
5. Legislation as Information
6. Revelation of Information by Legal Enforcement
7. The Power of Arbitral Expression
8. Normative Implications
Conclusion: Law’s Expressive Powers