The Future of Rule of Law: Challenges and Prospects for the Field
The Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Vol. 1, 2009
8 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 6, 2010
In considering where the rule of law field is headed, and the possible contribution of a dedicated journal such as this to the development of the field, I focus on four areas. The first area is conceptual or theoretical, and highlights the need to move beyond attempts to generate a consensus definition, in favor of adopting a more pragmatic perspective that accepts multiple perspectives and conceptions, and takes advantage of the diversity of definitions and measures to test the relationship between rule of law and the increasing list of other social goods.
The second is methodological, and highlights the need to switch from increasingly insistent prescriptions based on increasingly comprehensive and specific Euro-American institutions, rules, practices and norms toward a more process oriented approach that recognizes a greater role and responsibility for target countries and is more open-ended and tolerant of institutional innovations and differences in norms, practices and outcomes.
The third is empirical, and highlights the need to move beyond the current broad empirical studies of rule of law to a more focused study of particular institutions, rules and practices in achieving various desired outcomes, as well as more focus on what works at what level of development and under what socio-political conditions.
The fourth is disciplinary, and highlights the need for greater interdisciplinary work given the integral relation of legal reforms to other reforms, as well as the need to bridge the gap between academics and rule of law practitioners so as to provide policymakers more effective guidance.
Keywords: rule of law, comparative law, international law, law and development
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation