The Rule of Law

Posted: 6 Dec 2007

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Rule of Law rhetoric is increasingly common, both in U.S. legal literature and in the realm of international governance. In the field of law and economic development, the Rule of Law revival is lead by the international financial institutions (IFIs). Rule of Law discourse has also come to play an important role in the fields of comparative politics and comparative law, particularly with respect to East Asia. This review begins with a discussion of Rule of Law rhetoric in the Anglo-American tradition. It then discusses the international Rule of Law renaissance, focusing on the roles that Rule of Law rhetoric plays in the development activities of the IFIs. Because the claim is that the Rule of Law is key to economic development, this review explores the extent to which Northeast Asia's outstanding economic development conformed to the Rule of Law. An exploration follows of how the Rule of Law-economic development literature has evolved over time, in line with changing ideas about economics and about development itself. Finally, this review explores how Rule of Law is used in the literatures of comparative politics and comparative law.

Keywords: jurisprudence, law and development, comparative law, judicialization, East Asia

Suggested Citation

Ohnesorge, John Karl Murat, The Rule of Law. Annual Review of Law & Social Science, Vol. 3, December 2007, Available at SSRN:

John Karl Murat Ohnesorge (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-7603 (Phone)


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