COVID-19 has challenged people worldwide to comply with meticulous healthcare instructions. Can states harness enclave communities to comply with the law in such crucial times, even when compliance conflicts with communal norms? We investigated this question through the case of Israeli ultra-Orthodox schools compliance with COVID-19 regulations. Drawing on interviews with school principals, media analysis, and a field survey, we found that the state has the capacity to harness the cooperation of previously suspicious communities. At the same time, communal authorities were able to shield widespread defiance from legal enforcement. These findings expose the bidirectionality of legal socialization: As the community uses defiance to attenuate the law, it socializes public authorities to accede to their bounded authority. As the authorities realize that the community cannot be brought to full compliance, they curtail enforcement and socialize the community to operate outside the law.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!