Study guide for mid-term examination
POLS 359 Spring 2015--Evan McKenzie
The test will be in class on Tuesday, March 3, and you will have the full period from 930 to 1045 to complete it. I will bring blue books. The test is closed book and without notes. There is no length limitation. All the questions on the test will be taken verbatim from this study guide. Because you have all the possible questions in advance, I expect well-organized responses that reflect serious thought. I'm looking for evidence that you have read and tried to understand the major concepts in the readings and class discussions. I suggest that you prepare by making outlines of your responses to all the questions. Trying to write out and memorize entire answers is not a good idea. Neither is just reading the book and hoping something will stick. Methodical preparation and making outlines will help you understand and recall the main ideas.
Section A and Section B will be worth 50 points each. I anticipate that you will be given three questions in Section A, and you will choose two of them to answer for 25 points each, making a total of 50 points. I anticipate that you will be given two questions in Section B, and you will choose one to answer for 50 points.
Section A:
1. What are the "inside" and "outside" points of view in law and social science scholarship? Give examples of each.
2. What are "normative" and "empirical" perspectives in law and social science scholarship? Give examples of each.
3. Explain the concept of "the shadow of the law," and how it operates in civil and criminal legal proceedings.
4. Explain the concept of "legal autonomy" and how it relates to the US legal system.
5. What are the basic insights that have been produced by law and social science scholarship, according to Stewart Macaulay? Which do you think is most important, and why?
6. In the US, where do most people get their ideas about law and the legal system from, what are the differences among those sources, and what are the effects of this exposure?
7. What are the main social sources of law that have been identified by social science? Of these, which do you think is most important, and why?
Section B:
I. Why does Richard Leo say that one effect of Miranda v. Arizona was to turn police interrogations into a confidence game? Critically evaluate his conclusions.
II. Why does H. Laurence Ross say that "tort law in action is differentiated from the formal law by its greater simplicity, liberality, and inequity"?
III. According to David R. Mayhew, we can best understand the United States Congress in terms of the single-minded quest for re-election. Explain and critically evaluate that claim.
IV. Explain, give examples of, and critically assess the claim that American governance and legal process are characterized by "adversarial legalism"
V. How do ordinary people use courts in their interpersonal disputes, according to the findings of Sally Engle Merry?
VI. What are the main types of models of the relationship between social change and changes in the law? Define and explain each, and then state which you think best explains this relationship in the US, and why.
VII. Explain the relationship between social change and legal change in the US, using one of the following examples:
a. the rise and fall of the fellow servant rule
b. the creation of the Food and Drug Administration
c. the development of "no-fault" divorce
VIII. Critically evaluate the way the US news media cover law and courts, using McCann's analysis of the McDonald's coffee case (Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants) as your example.