Description : The growth of international law in the post-World War II era stemmed partly from the belief that universal norms would make life for the entire world's population safer, more equitable, and more conducive to each person's acquisition of basic material needs. Starting in the sixties and seventies, some scholars and activists challenged this assumption and established the school of "cultural relativism," a model that pays deference to local cultural traditions and favors them over international human rights norms. Scholars tried to create and practice a middle-ground approach between universalism and relativism, whereby the most egregious violations would be prevented through assimilating only jus cogens norms into indigenous groups' existing cultural traditions. Such efforts at combining a few select international norms with local cultural traditions largely failed. Culture in Law and Development presents a provocative new solution to the seemingly intractable problem of combining international norms with local cultural traditions by changing culture through law and development. In this book, Lan Cao demonstrates how the gradual expansion of customary international law (CIL) provides a model for changing culture in ways that protect and advance local populations. The book adopts a holistic view of development and argues that cultural norms that impede the human capabilities of the poor, women, and other marginal groups should be changed. The book reveals how a more conscious, coordinated effort on such change can succeed while non-violative local traditions are otherwise honored and preserved. Cao proposes that cultural change does not have to constitute cultural disrespect, and that local societies only benefit by a careful combination of externally wrought change and internally fostered tradition.
Description : This book examines the prospects for business law reform to drive economic development in developing countries. It argues that, despite statements to the contrary, cultural factors and other local conditions in developing countries are not properly taken into account in current business law reform programs. Utilizing the city of Dakar as an example, this book investigates the consequences of this lack of fit between local needs and transplanted legal models by examining the potential and actual impact of the OHADA program of law reform on local business practices. Focusing on how managers make decisions and apply appropriate norms in routine business operations, the book documents how contractual disputes arise and are solved in Dakar and the role played by formal law in these processes. By examining imported law from the point of view of the end-users of legal reforms, the book reveals the complex relationship between formal law, local cultural norms and the activities of SMEs operating in developing economies, and calls for a reconsideration of current law and development theory as well as the role of contract law in business decisions. It will be relevant to all developing countries seeking to align their laws with ‘best practice’ as identified by aid institutions.
Description : This book explores recent developments in the concept of hybridity through a multi-disciplinary perspective, bringing ideas about legal plurality together with the fields of peace, development and cultural studies. Analysing the concepts of hybridity and hybridization, their history, their application in law and legal studies, and their implications for thinking and rethinking legal plurality, the book shows how the concept of hybridity can contribute to an understanding of the processes that occur when different normative or legal orders or frameworks confront each other.
Description : Drawing on philosophers from Plato to Foucault and cultural anthropologists and historians such as Clifford Geertz and Perry Miller, Kahn outlines the conceptual tools necessary for such an inquiry. He analyzes the concepts of time, space, citizen, judge, sovereignty, and theory within the culture of law's rule and goes on to consider the methodological problems entailed in stripping the study of law of its reformist ambitions.
Description : Rule of Law Reform and Development stands out as an important contribution. Michael Trebilcock and Ronald Daniels have produced an ambitious, comprehensive, and persuasive book that will be of interest to both rule of law practitioners and academics. . . the book s overall strengths as a near-encyclopaedic appraisal of law and development will ensure its standing as a key resource for this still rapidly evolving field. Irina Ceric, Canadian Journal of Law and Society This book offers a sophisticated yet pragmatic account of the proper purposes of rule of law reform, the obstacles to achieving it, and the role that the international community can play. The procedural conception of the rule of law offers an appealing alternative to both one-size-fits-all universalism on the one hand and unconstrained relativism on the other. Kevin Davis, New York University School of Law, US This is the book that I have been waiting for. Even though rule of law has become the new mantra in development, its meaning remains elusive and its operational content unclear. This book helps us think systematically about it. Grounded in a procedural conceptualization of the rule of law, and supported by detailed case studies, Trebilcock and Daniels analysis lays out a theoretically sophisticated, yet practical agenda for making progress with rule-of-law reforms. Dani Rodrik, Harvard University, US This is a book on the role of legal institutions in economic development that is rich in institutional analysis and nuanced in terms of sensitivity to social, historical and political-economy issues that arise in the implementation of the rule of law. I particularly value its major focus on the need for balance between independence and accountability that afflict any rule of law reform: a balance which is missing in more one-sided accounts in the literature. I believe the book will be widely read and appreciated. Pranab Bardhan, University of California, Berkeley, US Within the law and development literature it is the most knowledgeable and comprehensive book on legal reform. I think that it will find a grateful readership among people working in development agencies, in humanitarian organizations and among scholars and students of development studies. Hans-Bernd Schäfer, University of Hamburg, Germany By identifying the key politico-economic reasons why rule-of-law reforms in developing countries have faltered and drawing out the implications for future strategy, this book is of immense importance and should be widely read. Anthony Ogus, CBE, FBA, University of Manchester, UK This important book addresses a number of key issues regarding the relationship between the rule of law and development. It presents a deep and insightful inquiry into the current orthodoxy that the rule of law is the panacea for the world s problems. The authors chart the precarious progress of law reforms both in overall terms and in specific policy areas such as the judiciary, the police, tax administration and access to justice, among others. They accept that the rule of law is necessarily tied to the success of development, although they propose a set of procedural values to enlighten this institutional approach. The authors also recognize that states face difficulties in implementing this institutional structures and identify the probable impediments, before proposing a rethink of law reform strategies and offering some conclusions about the role of the international community in the rule of law reform. Reviewing the progress in the rule of law reform in developing countries, specifically four regions Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia this book makes a significant contribution to the literature. It will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students, as well as practitioners in the field, including international and bilateral aid agencies working on rule of law reform projects, and international and regional non-governmental organiza
Description : Changes in human rights environments in Africa over the past decade have been facilitated by astounding political transformations: the rise of mass movements and revolts driven by democratic and developmentalist ideals, as well as mass murder and poverty perpetuated by desperate regimes and discredited global agencies. Human Rights, the Rule of Law, and Development in Africa seeks to make sense of human rights in Africa through the lens of its triumphs and tragedies, its uneven developments and complex demands. The volume makes a significant contribution to the debate about the connections between the protection of human rights and the pursuit of economic development by interrogating the paradigms, politics, and practices of human rights in Africa. Throughout, the essays emphasize that democratic and human rights regimes are products of concrete social struggles, not simply textual or legal discourses. Including some of Africa's leading scholars, jurists, and human rights activists, contributors to the volume diverge from Western theories of African democratization by rejecting the continental view of an Africa blighted by failure, disease, and economic malaise. It argues instead that Africa has strengthened and shaped international law, such as the right to self-determination, inspired by the process of decolonization, and the definition of the refugee. Insisting on the holistic view that human rights are as much about economic and social rights as they are about civil and political rights, the contributors offer novel analyses of African conceptions, experiences, and aspirations of human rights which manifest themselves in complex global, regional, and local idioms. Further, they explore the varied constructions of human rights in African and Western discourses and the roles played by states and NGOs in promoting or subverting human rights. Combining academic analysis with social concern, intellectual discourse with civic engagement, and scholarly research with institution building, this is a compelling and original approach to the question whether externally inspired solutions to African human rights issues have validity in a postcolonial world.
Description : Law is integral to culture, and culture to law. Often considered a distinctive domain with strange rules and stranger language, law is actually part of a culture's way of expressing its sense of the order of things. In Law as Culture, Lawrence Rosen invites readers to consider how the facts that are adduced in a legal forum connect to the ways in which facts are constructed in other areas of everyday life, how the processes of legal decision-making partake of the logic by which the culture as a whole is put together, and how courts, mediators, or social pressures fashion a sense of the world as consistent with common sense and social identity. While the book explores issues comparatively, in each instance it relates them to contemporary Western experience. The development of the jury and Continental legal proceedings thus becomes a story of the development of Western ideas of the person and time; African mediation techniques become tests for the style and success of similar efforts in America and Europe; the assertion that one's culture should be considered as an excuse for a crime becomes a challenge to the relation of cultural norms and cultural diversity. Throughout the book, the reader is invited to approach law afresh, as a realm that is integral to every culture and as a window into the nature of culture itself.
Description : During the 1980s and 1990s Asian 'developmental states' attracted much attention in political science and economics literature, but the role of law in the economic development was neglected. It was only after the Asian crisis of 1997 that many analysts began to focus on a lack of regulation and transparency as a major factor triggering the crisis. The crucial questions now are how successful the current reforms will be, and which features of the Asian approach to commercial law will be resistant to reform pressures. This book examines the prospects for commercial law reform in Asia, giving particular attention to Japan and Singapore, as frequently cited role models for Asian developmentalism, and also examining development related business laws in countries such as China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Description : International business transactions are heavily influenced by culture, practice and rule. The pursuit of business relationships within nation-states can be subject to differences in the generation of norms and the processing of disputes, but these conflicts are magnified many times over in cross-border transactions where nation-state control and support is weak or absent. This book seeks different explanations of the ways in which business people and their legal advisers try to minimize the effect of these magnified difficulties. At the outset, four sources are suggested through which the international business community might be considered to have supplemented nation-state conflict prevention and dispute resolution institutions - an international legal order, the development of a private normative order based on common business practices (denominated the lex mercatoria), through the efforts and work product of internationalized law firms, and by means of extensive, thick personal relationships often referred to by their Chinese term guanxi. Since most explanations are dominated by North American and European legal scholarship and practice, a second concern of this book is to open up the discussion to competing explanatory frameworks. Specifically, it develops the notion that global legal convergence may not be the immediate, inevitable result of increased global economic interaction. Rather, less formal mechanisms for achieving normative understanding and predictability in business dealings may also flourish.
Description : A myth exists that Jews can embrace the cultural components of Judaism without appreciating the legal aspects of the Jewish tradition. This myth suggests that law and culture are independent of one another. In reality, however, much of Jewish culture has a basis in Jewish law. Similarly, Jewish law produces Jewish culture. A cultural analysis paradigm provides a useful way of understanding the Jewish tradition as the product of both legal precepts and cultural elements. This paradigm sees law and culture as inextricably intertwined and historically specific. This perspective also emphasizes the human element of law's composition and the role of existing power dynamics in shaping Jewish law. In light of this inevitable intersection between culture and law, The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition argues that Jewish culture is shallow unless it is grounded in Jewish law. Roberta Rosenthal Kwall develops and applies a cultural analysis paradigm to the Jewish tradition that departs from the understanding of Jewish law solely as the embodiment of Divine command. Her paradigm explains why both law and culture must matter to those interested in forging meaningful Jewish identity and transmitting the tradition.