In this chapter, I see policies and laws as located at the intersection of two major fields, whose social practices, discourse and unique organisation (Bourdieu 1984) define the textual genres that constitute them (cf. Bhatia 2004). Many of these practices, actors and communities are linked to politics, a fluid field oriented towards shaping the exercise of state power, but whose boundaries are routinely redrawn in public discourse (Jessop 2014). It is this close relation to politics that differentiates policy from law, which is ultimately a much more strictly bounded field with an established historical narrative, settings, actors and linguistic practices (e.g. Tiersma 1999). In the following, I discuss how the social roles of policy and law impact linguistic approaches to the texts or genres that constitute both those fields.