ERIC Number: ED147434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Theory of Legal Impact: Some Perspectives on Compliance. Discussion Papers #389-77.
An important question to both social theory and policy is the impact of law on behavior. This question has received considerable empirical attention, but the need for a consistent theoretical approach is evident. In this paper a preliminary theory of legal impact is suggested, and one specific aspect of it is detailed. The paper points out that a number of distinctions are necessary in a theory of impact. First, impact may occur at two levels, that of compliance and that of broader social impact. Second, three factors may be expected to influence impact, the source of the law, the content of the law, and the characteristics of the affected unit. Each of the three factors must be discussed separately, for both compliance and social impact, if a rigorous theory is to be developed. An ideal-typical approach is used to develop one aspect of a theory of impact, the relation of the source of the law to compliance. The ideal type is based on a conception of law developed by Weber, and it involves four topics: legitimacy, sanctions, enforcement, and integration. The paper concludes with some suggestions for using the ideal type in further empirical and theoretical studies. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.