Law and/or/as Civility

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The United States, like many countries around the world today, is experiencing the disruption of traditional patterns of governance and the breaking of norms of everyday behavior. If we identify the norms of governance with the rule of law, and if we consider the norms of everyday behavior to constitute civility, then we can approach the current state of affairs by asking how law and civility relate to one another. I survey and discuss three different understandings of the law/civility relationship: law and civility, law or civility, and law as civility. Each of these understandings is an analytical resource, and as such, each understanding captures a facet of a complex relationship and provides a way to think about our current age of unrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
StatePublished - 2021


  • civility
  • democracy
  • free speech
  • hypocrisy
  • norms
  • rule of law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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