The Passions of Law 2017-05-01T12:31:18+00:00
Susan Bandes - The Passion of Law

The Passions of Law
(Susan A. Bandes, ed., NYU Press, 2000)

THE PASSIONS OF LAW

The Passions of Law is the first anthology to treat the role that emotions play, don’ t play, and ought to play in the practice and conception of law and justice.

The book was hailed as a “landmark collection” with an “impressive variety of topics and approaches” that takes “the conversation about emotion in law far beyond easy platitudes about the desirability of compassion, mercy, and love, or the dangers of vengeance and resentment.”

In the words of one reviewer, “the high points in the analysis are so elegant and incisive as to make one experience passion about law and legal scholarship.” The book is regarded as one of the founding texts of the emerging field of Law and Emotion.

REVIEWS

When Emotion Worms Its Way Into Law

By Sarah Boxer, New York Times

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“Another Thing Needful”: Exploring Emotions In The Law

By Neal Feigenson, Quinnipiac

“In its impressive variety of topics and approaches, The Passions of Law takes the conversation about emotion [in law] far beyond easy platitudes about the desirability of compassion, mercy, and love or the dangers of vengeance and resentment. The authors’ insightful and intellectually rigorous normative analyses should persuade even casual readers that the place of emotion in law deserves much closer study.”

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Negotiating the Tangle of Law and Emotion

By Laura Little, Temple University Beasley School of Law

“the high points in the analysis are so elegant and incisive as to make one experience passion about law and legal scholarship.”

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Who’s Afraid of Law and the Emotions?

By Kathryn Abrams and Hila Keren

calls it a “landmark collection” that highlighted and consolidated the field of law and emotion.

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The Progress of Passion

By Kathryn Abrams, UC Berkeley School of Law

“Susan Bandes’s collection, The Passions of Law, is a triumphant example of this new genre of critique.”

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Law and Emotion Scholarship: A Snapshot

By Emma Jones, of the Socio-Legal Studies Association

As co-convenor of the new law and emotion stream about to be launched at the SLSA’s 2017 conference, this seems an apt moment for me to pause and reflect on where law and emotion scholarship stands today. Its origins as a field of scholarship can be traced to a conference at the University of Chicago, following which, in 1999, came the ground-breaking anthology The Passions of Law, edited by Susan Bandes. This was one of the first books to explore the relationship between law and emotion, and its opening sentence reads “Emotion pervades the law”. This seemingly simple statement not only forms the basis of research in this area but, in doing so, also offers a significant challenge to more traditional legal scholarship. By siting emotion as intertwined with, interacting with and even part of the law, it dismisses the conventional dichotomy that views emotion as a series of irrational impulses which must be suppressed and disregarded by the rationality of law. Instead, it requires emotion to be acknowledged and explored as an inescapable and valuable part of every facet of legal life, law and justice.