Scholarship on law and social movements has focused attention primarily on the United States, and secondarily on countries that share the Anglo-American legal tradition. The politics of law and social movements in other national legal contexts remains under-examined. The analysis in this article contrasts legal mobilizations for immigrant rights in France and the United States and explores the relations between national fields of power and legal practices. I trace the institutionalization of immigrant rights legal organizations in each country, and argue that the divergent organizational forms and litigation strategies adopted by “professionalized” movement organizations reflect the dynamics of the nationally-distinct fields of power relations within which law reform has been conducted. My analysis links the material and symbolic resources available to law reformers to the relative authority of private and public juridical actors in each State.
This is the accepted version of the following article: “Legal Mobilization on the Terrain of the State: Immigrant Rights Practice in Two National Legal Fields.” Law & Social Inquiry. Vol. 36 (2011), pp. 354-387, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-4469.2011.01235.x/abstract.
Kawar, Leila, "Legal Mobilization on the Terrain of the State: Immigrant Rights Practice in Two National Legal Fields" (2011). Political Science Faculty Publications. 4.
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