For each of the five countries, the authors discuss the structure of courts and access to them, the manner in which politics and law are differentiated or amalgamated, whether judicial posts are political prizes or bureaucratic positions, the ways in which courts are perceived as legitimate forms for addressing political conflicts, the degree of legal consciousness among citizens, the kinds of work lawyers do, and the manner in which law and courts are used as social control mechanisms. The authors find that although the extent to which courts participate in policymaking varies dramatically from country to country, judicial responsiveness to perceived public problems is not a uniquely American phenomenon.
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