Explaining the sources of judges’ legal conceptions in the Mexican judiciary
When explaining judicial decision-making, ideological accounts of judicial behavior have not seriously considered the judges’ legal conceptions. This paper brings together two disciplines that used to sit at separate tables: judicial politics and legal theory. It aims at enhancing ideational accounts of judicial behavior by analyzing how legal conceptions such as legal positivism and post-positivism are shaped and socially reproduced. We claim that legal conceptions are, to some extent, determined by the type of educational model under which a judge studied, and by his/her level of education. We surveyed federal judges working in Mexico (N=71) to explore and test our contention and computed two analyses: hierarchical cluster analysis and binomial logistic regressions. We identified three clusters of judges’ legal conceptions, where the educational model showed a significant effect in shaping the judges’ legal conceptions.