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How Law Thinks of Disobedience: Perceiving and Addressing Desertion and Conscientious Objection in Israeli Military Courts

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The study transcends the dichotomy “law in the books”/“law in action” by taking law's knowledge-production mechanisms seriously. It examines how the Israeli military justice system perceives and addresses disobedience toward the mandatory military service duty by deserters and conscientious objectors. Both groups resist the military service ethos but differ in the offenders’ demographics and motivations. The findings show how law co-opts the socio-political problems, assimilates them, and transforms them to narrow its framework. The legal system can be cognitively open to external frameworks introduced by powerful and resourceful defendants; it remains, however, normatively closed to alternative rules and perspectives.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 200 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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