FRAMING PUBLIC HEALTH LAW RESEARCH

The resources in this section focus on positioning public health law research in the broader context of public health science and the study of law. These resources define basic terms (like “law”), categorize the various forms of public health law research, and provide frameworks for understanding public health law and legal aspects of public health systems and services research.

Regulatory Theory - Scientific evaluation of law’s effects on public health

"Regulatory Theory" explores social-psychological foundations of regulation as well as theories of regulation such as responsive regulation, smart regulation and nodal governance. Chapter 32, written by Scott Burris, describes scientific theory and methods for investigating the development, implementation and effects of public health laws, enforcement strategies and other basic forms of regulation.

Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health: A Framework for Public Health Law Research

Public health experts, legal scholars and policy makers are increasingly recognizing that laws can keep people safe and healthy; for example, by encouraging the use of seat belts and by keeping the environment safe from toxins. This growing recognition has led to the emergence of “public health law research,” a developing field aimed at studying the intended and unintended consequences of laws on public health as a way to support evidence-based policy making.

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