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Judicial Power and Strategic Communication in Mexico

$88.00 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521195218

$ 88.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Although they are not directly accountable to voters, constitutional court judges around the world nevertheless communicate with the general public through the media. In Judicial Power and Strategic Communication in Mexico, Jeffrey K. Staton argues that constitutional courts develop public relations strategies in order to increase the transparency of judicial behavior and promote judicial legitimacy – two conditions that are favorable for the exercise of independent judicial power. Yet, in some political contexts there can be a tension between transparency and legitimacy, and for this reason, courts cannot necessarily advance both conditions simultaneously. The argument is tested via an analysis of the Mexican Supreme Court during Mexico’s recent transition to democracy, and also through a cross-national analysis of public perceptions of judicial legitimacy. The results demonstrate that judges can be active participants in the construction of their own power. More broadly, the study develops a positive political theory of institutions, which highlights the connections between democratization and the rule of law.

    • Discusses how judges try to advance their own power and ultimately the rule of law through public relations
    • Summarizes the Mexican Supreme Court's efforts to manage its power during Mexico's transition from one-party authoritarianism to democracy
    • Develops and tests a unified theory of judicial decision-making, compliance and public beliefs in judicial legitimacy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Using novel new data from Mexico, Staton advances our understanding of how courts are able to use information to proactively shape their strategic environment. As the first major study of court-media relations in new democracies, this is a major contribution to the literatures on comparative judicial politics and the role of law in democratization.”
    – Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School

    “Judicial Power and Strategic Communication in Mexico is an outstanding contribution to the growing subfield of comparative judicial politics and shows just how far the strategic revolution in the study of judicial behavior has come. Building on the key insight that public support matters for courts, the book breaks new ground theoretically and empirically by showing how judges seek to build public support endogenously. In so doing, the book provides a compelling novel logic linking judicial power and democracy. Using rigorous formal theory, quantitative analysis of original data, and in-depth case studies, the book will hold enormous appeal for anyone interested in Latin American politics, judicial politics, or comparative political institutions.”
    – Gretchen Helmke, University of Rochester

    “Jeffrey K. Staton’s Judicial Power and Strategic Communication in Mexico is an important addition to a growing, cross-national literature on constitutional courts. Existing scholarship has highlighted the importance of public support and awareness of judicial power. Staton moves beyond these efforts by demonstrating that judges court public support through media and communications strategies that inform citizens about judicial procedures and decisions. Combining theoretical and empirical rigor, the book has implications that extend far beyond its focus on the Mexican court.”
    – Georg Vanberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521195218
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 20 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Judicial Communication and Judicial Power:
    1. Introduction
    2. A model of constitutional review and case promotion
    Appendix 2
    Part II. The Politics of Constitutional Review in Mexico:
    3. Public relations on the Mexican Supreme Court
    4. Decisions, case promotion, and compliance in Mexico
    Appendix 4A
    Appendix 4B
    Part III. Relationships between Transparency and Legitimacy:
    5. Constitutional review and the development of judicial legitimacy
    Appendix 5
    6. A cross-national analysis of judicial legitimacy
    7. Democracy and the development of judicial power.

  • Author

    Jeffrey K. Staton, Emory University, Atlanta
    Jeffrey K. Staton is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emory University. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and International Studies Quarterly. Professor Staton was previously Assistant Professor of Political Science at Florida State University and post-doctoral Fellow at the Center for U.S. Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and at the New York University School of Law.

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