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The Litigation State : Public Regulation and Private Lawsuits in the U.S. - Sean Farhang

The Litigation State

Public Regulation and Private Lawsuits in the U.S.

Paperback Published: 22nd August 2010
ISBN: 9780691143828
Number Of Pages: 320

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Of the 1.65 million lawsuits enforcing federal laws over the past decade, 3 percent were prosecuted by the federal government, while 97 percent were litigated by private parties. When and why did private plaintiff-driven litigation become a dominant model for enforcing federal regulation? "The Litigation State" shows how government legislation created the nation's reliance upon private litigation, and investigates why Congress would choose to mobilize, through statutory design, private lawsuits to implement federal statutes. Sean Farhang argues that Congress deliberately cultivates such private lawsuits partly as a means of enforcing its will over the resistance of opposing presidents.

Farhang reveals that private lawsuits, functioning as an enforcement resource, are a profoundly important component of American state capacity. He demonstrates how the distinctive institutional structure of the American state--particularly conflict between Congress and the president over control of the bureaucracy--encourages Congress to incentivize private lawsuits. Congress thereby achieves regulatory aims through a decentralized army of private lawyers, rather than by well-staffed bureaucracies under the president's influence. The historical development of ideological polarization between Congress and the president since the late 1960s has been a powerful cause of the explosion of private lawsuits enforcing federal law over the same period.

Using data from many policy areas spanning the twentieth century, and historical analysis focused on civil rights, "The Litigation State" investigates how American political institutions shape the strategic design of legislation to mobilize private lawsuits for policy implementation.

Winner of the 2011 C. Herman Pritchett Award, Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association Winner of the 2011 Gladys M. Kammerer Award, American Political Science Association

Illustrations and Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Private Enforcement Regimes in General
An Introduction to Private Enforcement Regimesp. 3
Institutional Foundations of Private Enforcement Regimesp. 19
An Empirical Model of Enactment of Private Enforcement Regimesp. 60
Private Enforcement Regimes and Civil Rights
Introduction to Part IIp. 85
Foundations: The Civil Rights Act of 1964p. 94
Reverberations: 1965-1976p. 129
Escalation: The Civil Rights Act of 1991p. 172
Conclusions and Implicationsp. 214
Notesp. 235
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691143828
ISBN-10: 069114382X
Series: Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 22nd August 2010
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.45