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Nobody’s Law shows how people – who are disappointed, disenchanted, and outraged about the justice system – gradually move away from law. Using detailed case studies and combining different theoretical perspectives, this book explores the legal consciousness of ordinary people, businessmen, and street-level bureaucrats in the Netherlands.
The empirical research in this study tells an original and alternative narrative about the role of law in everyday life. While previous studies argue that the law is ‘all over’ and emphasize its hegemony, Hertogh shows that legal proliferation makes it harder for people to know, and subsequently identify with, the law. As a result, official law has become increasingly remote and irrelevant to everyday people. The central finding presented in this highly topical text is that these developments signal a process of ‘legal alienation’— a gradual and mundane process with conversely serious consequences for the legitimacy of law.
A timely and original study, this book will be of particular interest to scholars of socio-legal studies and criminal law.