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The Litigation State:
Public Regulation and Private Lawsuits in the United States
Sean Farhang

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Farhang is at the forefront of a new generation of scholars who have begun to broaden the parameters of the American state and its reach into society. Drawing upon an impressive range of methods, sources, and theory, Farhang shows us how Congress and the administration extended the reach of regulation by inducing private litigants and the legal profession to cocreate a vast regulatory regime. A shrewd reading of the new mode of state-building."--Dan Carpenter, Harvard University

"This book is a major advance in the understanding of American government. Farhang demonstrates that America's distinctive reliance on adversarial legalism to enforce civil rights does not reflect a power grab by lawyers and judges. Instead, it stems from deliberate Congressional choices, in the face of political polarization, to use private litigation to protect individual rights."--Robert A. Kagan, University of California, Berkeley

"Private enforcement of statutory provisions is an enormously significant aspect of our political system and economy, yet researchers have largely ignored this issue. This seminal and important book exhaustively analyzes the theory behind private enforcement and persuasively sets out the history of its intentional creation as a tool of regulation."--Frank Cross, University of Texas, Austin

"This is an expertly executed, rigorous, and innovative book about American political development. With a commanding, multidisciplinary approach, Farhang develops the concepts of state fragmentation and capacity, and brings a sophisticated understanding of ideology to the discussion."--John Skrentny, University of California, San Diego

"This is an exceptionally well-crafted, clearly argued, and illuminating book on the growing use of private litigation as a regulatory tool. Farhang's crisply framed analysis crosses subfields of American politics and shows how Democrats and Republicans collaborated to turn U.S. policy toward a reliance on litigation."--Charles Epp, University of Kansas

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File created: 4/17/2014

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