When does the law influence politics?
Although vital for maintaining an open society, competitive electoral politics can also be volatile, overly responsive to majorities relative to minority rights, to strong lobbies relative to the public interest and to short-term expediency relative to long-term planning. Can the exercise of law within the justice system provide a counterweight to these tendencies? Using network analysis and computational linguistics, Marion Dumas empirically models the evolution of laws to identify when and how law influences politics and vice versa. Answering this question is vital to understanding how political norms such as respecting minorities or maintaining natural capital for future generations change and are sustained in large pluralist societies.