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A new edition has been published, the details can be seen here:
Adversarial Legalism : The American Way of Law 2nd ed isbn 9780674238367

Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law


ISBN13: 9780674012417
ISBN: 0674012410
New Edition ISBN: 9780674238367
Published: September 2003
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2002)
Price: Price on Application
Hardback edition out of print, ISBN13 9780674006218



American methods of policy implementation and dispute resolution are more adversarial and legalistic when compared with the systems of other economically advanced countries. Americans more often rely on legal threats and lawsuits. American laws are generally more complicated and prescriptive, adjudication more costly and penalties more severe.;In this text, Robert Kagan examines the origins and consequences of this system of ""adversarial legalism"". Kagan describes the roots of adversarial legalism and the deep connections it has with American political institutions and values. He investigates its social costs as well as the extent to which lawyers perpetuate it. Ranging widely across many legal fields, including criminal law, environmental regulations, tort law and social insurance programmes, he provides comparisons with the legal and regulatory systems of western Europe, Canada and Japan that point to possible alternatives to the American methods.;Kagan notes that while adversarial legalism has many virtues, its costs and unpredictability often alienate citizens from the law and frustrate the quest for justice. This study aims to deepen our understanding of law and its relationship to politics in America and raises questions about the future of the American legal system.