Enriching the World Bank's Vision of National Legal Systems and Foreign Direct Investment
RULE OF LAW PROMOTION: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES, LOCAL APPLICATIONS, pp. 271-286, Berling, P, Ederlov J and Taylor VL, eds., Uppsala: Iustus Forlag, 2009
15 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008 Last revised: 22 Mar 2011
Date Written: 2009
Over the last decade, various groups within the World Bank have developed a highly influential discourse linking the reform of legal systems (laws and institutions) to the perceptions and expectations of foreign investors. This 'investment climate' approach presents law as a resource to facilitate (or at least not to obstruct) foreign investors in the pursuit of their individual objectives. That legal systems must also facilitate the needs of others, such as civil society actors, whose legal needs might be in conflict with those of foreign investors, is not given due attention. Furthermore, the investment climate approach fails entirely to consider the role that the legal system might play as a communal resource to encourage productive relations between foreign investment and civil society actors. This paper explores what communal role law ought to play, and how the Bank can and does take account of this notion in its theory and practice.
Keywords: Rule of law, law and development, world bank, investment climate
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