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Introduction

  • Marc Hertogh
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies book series (PSLS)

Abstract

Starting with a court case which provoked a wave of controversy, this study asks: how can we understand the erosion of legal legitimacy in cases like these? The chapter then discusses two different approaches to ‘legal consciousness’. The conventional (critical) approach focuses on why people—despite their criticism about the justice system—still turn to the law. It is argued that this approach has several important flaws. This study therefore follows an alternative (secular) approach and explores why people—because of their strong criticism—turn their back to law. The central narrative in this book is that the present public discontent with law and the justice system signals a process of ‘legal alienation’.

Keywords

Legitimacy Legal consciousness Legal alienation Public discontent 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of LawUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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