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Jon D. Hanson, Ideology, Psychology, and Law: Introduction, in Ideology, Psychology, and Law 3 (Jon D. Hanson ed., 2012).


Abstract: This chapter begins by loosely defining the concepts of ideology, psychology, and law and providing a brief history of their relationship with each other. As the 1990s turned to the 2000s, the links between ideology, psychology and law were growing stronger as legal theorists began looking to the mind sciences, mind scientists started studying ideology, and as ideological distinctions became more salient in the lawmaking process. After explaining why this volume came together when it did, this chapter offers an overview of the general sections and the individual chapters and comments in the book. It should not be obvious what a volume titled Ideology, Psychology, and Law is actually about. After all, each category—ideology, psychology, and law—has numerous definitions and covers a vast domain. Furthermore, the concepts are not commonly understood as closely linked. One goal of this volume, however, is to help delineate the sizable overlap between the categories of ideology, psychology, and law and to show that the links between them are tighter and stronger than conventionally perceived. Although the three topics are broad and have each been the subject of extensive academic study, the purpose of this introduction is not to provide a detailed, scholarly taxonomy, precise definitions, or a summary of the relevant findings. Much of that will come instead in the chapters that follow. Mine is the more modest ambition of suggesting why this volume came together when it did and providing an overview of the general sections and the individual chapters and comments in the book. I begin with a brief, loose, and highly stylized history of the relationships between ideology, psychology, and law—a history premised on the oversimplifying assertion that something changed around the year 2000.