Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2367357
 


 



Inflationary Trends in Law and Development


Benjamin Van Rooij


University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Penelope Nicholson


Melbourne Law School

December 13, 2013

Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, 2014, Forthcoming
UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-5

Abstract:     
This paper analyses two seemingly contradictory trends in the study and practice of law and development. First it looks at the ever higher rising level of expectations and ambitions about what law can do for development. And second it looks at the increasingly vocal critique and frustration both from inside and outside the field that law often fails to achieve the desired developmental effects. The paper argues that there is a relationship between increasing ambition and lack of impact. Increasing ambition produces limited impacts, but ironically lack of impact creates recommendations to increase ambition. The paper concludes that this linked evolution originates first from forces outside of the law and development domain, such as increasing pressures on aid efficacy, shifts in developmental paradigms, and increased geo-political pressures to bring law into post-conflict states and peace building. However, the relationship between ambition and lack of impact is also internal to the field. Scholars and practitioners, we suggest, operate cyclically criticizing existing practices to launch new and often bolder developments. The paper calls for a break from these cycles, a return to basic interventions to make incremental improvement in the functioning of law in the context of development, and shift from lofty overarching paradigms that obscure and disappoint, rather than aid, development.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: law and development, legal empowerment, access to justice, rule of law, transitional justice, customary law

JEL Classification: K10

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: December 15, 2013 ; Last revised: March 18, 2014

Suggested Citation

van Rooij, Benjamin and Nicholson, Penelope, Inflationary Trends in Law and Development (December 13, 2013). Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, 2014, Forthcoming; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-5. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2367357

Contact Information

Benjamin Van Rooij (Contact Author)
University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )
535A Administration
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )
Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
Amsterdam, 1012CN
Netherlands
0031 20 525 3472 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://jur.uva.nl/nclc
Penelope Nicholson
Melbourne Law School ( email )
Victoria, 3010
Australia
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