Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Historical Institutionalism and Judicial Decision-Making: Ideas, Institutions, and Actors in French High Court Hate Speech Rulings

  • Erik Bleich
Extract

This article integrates insights from different veins of historical institutionalism to offer an analytical framework that specifies how ideas, institutions, and actors account for key aspects of judicial decision-making, including change over time. To the extent that ideas are widely distributed, highly salient, and stable among actors in the judicial field, they can affect patterns of rulings in a particular issue area. The distribution, salience, and stability of norms, however, may change over time for reasons embedded in the institutional structures themselves. Existing policies, laws, or treaties create the potential for new actors to enter the judicial field through processes that theorists of institutional change have identified as intercurrence, displacement, conversion, layering, and drift. New actors can shift the relative salience of ideas already rooted in the judicial field. This ideational salience amplification can alter patterns of judicial decision-making without the fundamental and often costly battles involved in wholesale paradigm change. French high court hate speech decisions provide the context for the development of this framework and serve to illustrate the dynamic. The author uses evidence from an original dataset of every ruling by the French Court of Cassation regarding racist hate speech from 1972 through 2012 to explain the varying propensity of the high court to restrict speech that targets majorities compared to minorities.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Alter, Karen J. 2014. The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Béland, Daniel. 2009. “Ideas, Institutions, and Policy Change.” Journal of European Public Policy 16, no. 5: 701–18. doi: 10.1080/13501760902983382.
Béland, Daniel, and Cox, Robert Henry, eds. 2010. Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Bennett, Andrew, and Checkel, Jeffrey T., eds. 2014. Process Tracing: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Berman, Sheri. 2001. “Ideas, Norms and Culture in Political Analysis.” Comparative Politics 33, no. 2: 231–50. doi: 10.2307/422380.
Bleich, Erik. 2003. Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Bleich, Erik. 2017. Supplementary material for “Historical Institutionalism and Judicial Decision Making: Ideas, Institutions, and Actors in French High Court Hate Speech Rulings.” At https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043887117000272.
Bleich, Erik, and Pekkanen, Robert. 2013. “How to Report Interview Data.” In Mosley, Layna, ed., Interview Research in Political Science. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Blyth, Mark. 2002. Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Blyth, Mark, Helgadottir, Oddny, and Kring, William. 2016. “Ideas and Historical Institutionalism.” In Fioretos, Orfeo, Falleti, Tulia G., and Sheingate, Adam, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Brandwein, Pamela. 2011. “Law and American Political Development.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 7: 187216. doi: 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-042710-092852.
Cichowski, Rachel A. 2006. “Courts, Rights, and Democratic Participation.” Comparative Political Studies 39, no. 1: 5075. doi: 10.1177/0010414005283217.
Clayton, Cornell W., and Gillman, Howard, eds. 1999. Supreme Court Decision-Making: New Institutionalist Approaches. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press.
Conran, James, and Thelen, Kathleen. 2016. “Institutional Change.” In Fioretos, Orfeo, Falleti, Tulia G., and Sheingate, Adam, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Dyevre, Arthur. 2010. “Unifying the Field of Comparative Judicial Politics: Towards a General Theory of Judicial Behaviour.” European Political Science Review 2, no. 2: 297327. doi: 10.1017/S1755773910000044.
Edwards, Harry T. 2006. “Judicial Norms: A Judge's Perspective.” In Drobak, John N., ed., Norms and the Law. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Epstein, Lee, and Knight, Jack. 2000. “Toward a Strategic Revolution in Judicial Politics: A Look Back, A Look Ahead.” Political Research Quarterly 53, no. 3: 625–61. doi: 10.1177/106591290005300309.
Epstein, Lee, Landes, William M., and Posner, Richard A.. 2013. The Behavior of Federal Judges: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Rational Choice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Feldman, Stephen M. 2005. “The Rule of Law or the Rule of Politics? Harmonizing the Internal and External Views of Supreme Court Decision Making.” Law & Social Inquiry 30, no. 1: 89135. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2005.tb00347.x.
Fon, Vincy, and Parisi, Francesco. 2006. “Judicial Precedents in Civil Law Systems: A Dynamic Analysis.” International Review of Law and Economics 26, no. 4: 519–35. doi: 10.1016/j.irle.2007.01.005.
Gillman, Howard. 2001. “What's Law Got to Do with It? Judicial Behavioralists Test the ‘Legal Model’ of Judicial Decision Making.” Law & Social Inquiry 26, no. 2: 465504. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2001.tb00185.x.
González Ocantos, Ezequiel. 2014. “Persuade Them or Oust Them: Crafting Judicial Change and Transitional Justice in Argentina.” Comparative Politics 46, no. 4: 479–98. doi: 10.5129/001041514812522725.
Hacker, Jacob S. 2004. “Privatizing Risk without Privatizing the Welfare State: The Hidden Politics of Social Policy Retrenchment in the United States.” American Political Science Review 98, no. 2: 243–60. doi: 10.1017/S0003055404001121.
Hall, Peter A. 1993. “Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain.” Comparative Politics 25, no. 3: 275–96. doi: 10.2307/422246.
Hall, Peter A. 2003. “Aligning Ontology and Methodology in Comparative Research.” In Mahoney, James and Rueschemeyer, Dietrich, eds., Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Hilbink, Lisa. 2012. “The Origins of Positive Judicial Independence.” World Politics 64, no. 4 (October): 587621. doi: 10.1017/S0043887112000160.
Hirschl, Ran. 2004. Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Ingram, Matthew C. 2012. “Crafting Courts in New Democracies: Ideology and Judicial Council Reforms in Three Mexican States.” Comparative Politics 44, no. 4: 439–58. doi: 10.5129/001041512801282988.
Kapiszewski, Diana, Silverstein, Gordon, and Kagan, Robert A., eds. 2013. Consequential Courts: Judicial Roles in Global Perspective. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Keck, Thomas M. 2007. “Party, Policy, or Duty: Why Does the Supreme Court Invalidate Federal Statutes?” American Political Science Review 101, no. 2: 321–38. doi: 10.1017.S0003055407070190.
Keller, Helen, and Sweet, Alec Stone, eds. 2008. A Europe of Rights: The Impact of the ECHR on National Legal Systems. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
King, Desmond S., and Smith, Rogers M.. 2014. “‘Without Regard to Race’: Critical Ideational Development in Modern American Politics.” Journal of Politics 76, no. 4: 958–71. doi: 10.1017/s0022381614000541.
Lieberman, Robert C. 2002. “Ideas, Institutions, and Political Order: Explaining Political Change.” American Political Science Review 96, no. 4: 697712. doi: doi:10.1017/S0003055402000394.
Lupu, Yonatan, and Voeten, Erik. 2012. “Precedent in International Courts: A Network Analysis of Case Citations by the European Court of Human Rights.” British Journal of Political Science 42, no. 2: 413–39. doi: 10.1017/S0007123411000433.
Mahoney, James, and Thelen, Kathleen. 2010a. “A Theory of Gradual Institutional Change.” In Mahoney, James and Thelen, Kathleen, eds., Explaining Institutional Change: Ambiguity, Agency, and Power. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Mahoney, James, and Thelen, Kathleen, eds. 2010b. Explaining Institutional Change: Ambiguity, Agency, and Power. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Mandelkern, Ronen, and Shalev, Michael. 2010. “Power and the Ascendance of New Economic Policy Ideas: Lessons from the 1980s Crisis in Israel.” World Politics 62, no. 3 (July): 459–95. doi: 10.1017/S0043887110000109.
Michel, Verónica, and Sikkink, Kathryn. 2013. “Human Rights Prosecutions and the Participation Rights of Victims in Latin America.” Law & Society Review 47, no. 4: 873907. doi: 10.1111/lasr.12040.
Montmirail, Cécile. 2009. La Preuve par l’agrif. Paris, France: Godefroy de Bouillon.
MRAP. 1984. Chronique du Flagrant Racisme. Paris, France: Editions La Découverte.
Orren, Karen, and Skowronek, Stephen. 1996. “Institutions and Intercurrence: Theory Building in the Fullness of Time.” Nomos 38: 111–46.
Parsons, Craig. 2003. A Certain Idea of Europe. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Richards, Mark J., and Kritzer, Herbert M.. 2002. “Jurisprudential Regimes in Supreme Court Decision Making.” American Political Science Review 96, no. 2: 305–20. doi: 10.1017/S0003055402000187.
Schmidt, Vivien A. 2010. “Taking Ideas and Discourse Seriously: Explaining Change through Discursive Institutionalism as the Fourth ‘New Institutionalism.’European Political Science Review 2, no. 1: 125. doi: 10.1017/S175577390999021X.
Segal, Jeffrey A., and Spaeth, Harold J.. 1993. The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Segal, Jeffrey A., and Spaeth, Harold J.. 2002. The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model Revisited. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, Rogers M. 1988. “Political Jurisprudence, The ‘New Institutionalism,’ and the Future of Public Law.” American Political Science Review 82, no. 1: 89108. doi: 10.2307/1958060.
Smith, Rogers M. 2008. “Historical Institutionalism and the Study of Law.” In Caldeira, Gregory A., Daniel Kelemen, R., and Whittington, Keith E., eds., The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Snow, David A., Burke Rochford, E., Worden, Steven K., and Benford, Robert D.. 1986. “Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation.” American Sociological Review 51, no. 4: 464–81. doi: 10.2307/2095581.
Stone Sweet, Alec. 2000. Governing with Judges: Constitutional Politics in Europe. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Whittington, Keith E. 2000. “Once More Unto the Breach: PostBehavioralist Approaches to Judicial Politics.” Law & Social Inquiry 25, no. 2: 601–34. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2000.tb00974.x.
Yom, Sean. 2015. “From Methodology to Practice: Inductive Iteration in Comparative Research.” Comparative Political Studies 48, no. 5: 616–44. doi: 10.1177/0010414014554685.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World Politics
  • ISSN: 0043-8871
  • EISSN: 1086-3338
  • URL: /core/journals/world-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Bleich supplementary material
Bleich supplementary material 1

 PDF (216 KB)
216 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

Bleich supplementary material
Bleich supplementary material 2

 Word (18 KB)
18 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed