Oxford Socio-Legal Studies is already a well-established academic series of original works which examine the relationship of law and society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Its first three books appeared with Macmillan in 1979. In the next few years five more volumes were published under the Macmillan imprint before the series moved to Oxford University Press, where it was relaunched with four new research monographs. The University Press has now published a further twenty-two books in the series.
The appearance of three more works -- Robert Baldwin Rules and Government, Roger Cotterrell book Law's Community, and Wills, Inheritance and the Family by Finch, Masson, Mason, Haynes, and Wallis -- marks, however, a new beginning for this series. It will now have a wider institutional basis and will extend its range of academic interests. The existing Editorial Board has been enlarged by the addition of three further socio-legal scholars: Professor John Baldwin, Director of the Institute for Judicial Administration at the University of Birmingham, Professor William Felstiner of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Professor Simon Roberts of the London School of Economics. With a newly-appointed International Advisory Board also in place, the series intends to be fully international in character.
A number of the existing Oxford Socio-Legal Studies have addressed governmental regulation in a variety of contexts. Robert Baldwin new book Rules and Government is an important addition to the growing literature that addresses the problem of rules and regulation since its focus is not so much on the implementation of rules (nor, for that matter, on Parliamentary: legislation) as on the idea of rules as a governmental tool, and particularly on the creation of different forms of regulatory regimes employing different forms of rule. The author's purpose is to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of rules in an effort to encourage their more discerning