Judiciaries and political actors function in complex and overlapping conditions. Once sleepy judicial elections have evolved into openly partisan spectacles replete with single-issue interest groups and negative campaign advertising at both state and federal levels. Once on the bench, judges at every level are dogged by charges of politically motivated decision making. Yet, while partisanship is par for the course in the process of judicial appointments, the public still expects impartial arbiters in the courts.
Increasingly, judiciaries around the globe, not just in the United States, are key actors in politics and central figures in the news. New constitutional courts have emerged as leading institutions in developing democracies and international tribunals have become the central arbiters of human rights. Interdisciplinary research, along with informed analysis by jurists, journalists, and policymakers, is necessary in order to understand the complex mix of principle and politics that swirl around judges at home and abroad.
Books in this series are interdisciplinary explorations of these intricate and contradictory interactions between law and politics in domestic, comparative, and international contexts. The series as a whole develops and extends the trend toward new forms of interdisciplinary legal study, not only by making new connections between academics from across the social sciences, the legal academy, and the humanities, but also by drawing sitting judges, working journalists, policymakers, and scholars into a discussion of shared concerns.