The BRIC Nations and the Anatomy of Economic Development: The Core Tenets of Rule of Law
(2016) Law and Development Review
52 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016 Last revised: 2 Dec 2016
Date Written: November 28, 2016
The past decade has witnessed a revival in interest in the relationship between rule of law and economic development. Disenchantment with the universal model that emerged from the Washington Consensus era led to a shift in focus to a more pluralist approach in which policy prescriptions became tailored to each country’s socio-political context. The authors suggest that the pendulum may have swung to the other extreme, and that the newly ascendant pluralist approach may overemphasize pluralism at the expense of core rule of law principles. This paper examines the rule of law building efforts pursued by the BRIC countries to shed light on their strikingly different processes of economic transition. The authors argue that formal, informal, and transitional institutions have played distinct roles in these divergent economic development narratives. While informal and transitional institutions have facilitated growth during initial and intermediate phases of development, a degree of formalization across some institutions is critical to support the long-term development of a market economy. The authors set out the core tenets approach, an exploratory concept that emphasizes a malleable set of fundamental rule of law principles which exist alongside transition institutions to build trust in formal institutions as an economy advances.
Keywords: Law, Development, Economics, Brazil, Russia, India, China
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