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Unifying the Field of Comparative Judicial Politics: Towards a General Theory of Judicial Behaviour
European Political Science Review (2010)
  • Arthur Dyevre, Max Planck Institute for International and Comparative Law

The field of judicial politics had long been neglected by political scientists outside the United States. But the past twenty years have witnessed considerable change. There is now a large body of scholarship on European courts and judges. And judicial politics is on its way to become a sub-field of comparative politics in its own right. Examining the models used in the literature, this article suggests that the geographical convergence is also bringing about theoretical convergence. One manifestation of theoretical convergence is that models of judicial decision-making once deemed inapplicable in Europe are now used in studies of European courts too. But the convergence trend goes further. What we already know about judges and the contexts in which they operate suggests a way of reconciling the various attitudinal and institutionalist approaches used by scholars on both sides of the Atlantic within a general, unifying theory of judicial behaviour. The emerging theory provides a framework to assess the weight and interactions of a wide range of determinants of judicial decision-making across countries and legal systems.

  • judicial behaviour,
  • comparative politics,
  • law,
  • neo-institutionalism,
  • courts
Publication Date
Citation Information
Arthur Dyevre. "Unifying the Field of Comparative Judicial Politics: Towards a General Theory of Judicial Behaviour" European Political Science Review Vol. 2 Iss. 2 (2010)
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