Law and Development as Democratic Practice

35 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2004 Last revised: 2 Oct 2009

See all articles by Thomas F. McInerney

Thomas F. McInerney

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: 2005


Despite appreciable gains in the stature of law and development during the past decade, new doubts about the field's viability have surfaced. Recent scholarship seems united in the belief that rule of law and good governance promotion have until now delivered neither improved rule of law nor improved governance. The causes of these alleged failures are not yet well understood. This article contends that the problems critics have identified are principally the product of conceptual and methodological weaknesses of efforts in this area. After identifying some of these foundational problems, this article attempts to re-conceptualize law and development in terms of a broader process of democratic development. In a departure from the prevailing instrumentalist agenda, this article contends that rule of law promotion activities must respect the internal relation between law and democracy in order to bring about the conditions under which legitimate legal orders can emerge.

Keywords: Rule of Law, Law and Development, Governance

JEL Classification: O1, O20, K0, K4, P0

Suggested Citation

McInerney, Thomas F., Law and Development as Democratic Practice (2005). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 37, p. 935, 2005, Available at SSRN:

Thomas F. McInerney (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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