Justice Reform and Development: Rethinking Donor Assistance to Developing and Transitional Countries, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Justice Reform and Development

Rethinking Donor Assistance to Developing and Transitional Countries, 1st Edition

By Linn A. Hammergren


278 pages

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This book explores the objectives pursued in donor programs, the methods used to advance them, and the underlying assumptions and strategies. It emphasizes the unexpected and sometimes unpleasant consequences of ignoring not only political and societal constraints but also advances in our technical approaches to performance improvement, the one area where the First World has a comparative advantage. The geographic scope of the work is broad, incorporating examples from Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region as well as from several First World nations.

Justice Reform and Development examines First World assistance to justice or "rule of law" reforms in developing and transitional societies, arguing that its purported failure is vastly exaggerated, largely because of unrealistic expectations as to what could be accomplished. Change nonetheless is needed if the programs are to continue and would be best based on targeting specific performance problems, incorporation of donor countries’ experience with their own reforms, and greater attention to relevant research.

While contributing to an on-going debate among practitioners and academics involved in justice programs, this book will also be accessible to readers with little exposure to the topics, especially advanced undergraduate and graduate students in law, political science and areas studies.

Table of Contents

Acronyms, Introduction, Chapter I: A Brief Overview of Three Decades of Donor Reforms, Chapter II: What Is Meant by Failure? Chapter III: Judicial Independence, as Promoted and as Practiced, Chapter IV: Improving Performance: Experience from More and Less Developed Countries, Chapter V: Reform as Access to Formal and Informal Mechanisms, Chapter VI: The Extra-Sector Impacts of Justice Reform, Chapter VII: The Next Steps, Bibliography

About the Author

Linn Hammergren is currently an independent consultant working on development projects in the areas of judicial reform, anti-corruption, and donor assistance strategies. She formerly worked for the World Bank, USAID, and (as an assistant professor of Political Science) Vanderbilt University.

About the Series

Law, Development and Globalization

During the past two decades, a substantial transformation of law and legal institutions in developing and transition countries has taken place. Whether prompted by the policy prescriptions of the so-called Washington consensus, the wave of  democratization, the international human rights movement or the emergence of new social movements, no area of law has been left untouched. This massive transformation is attracting the attention of legal scholars, as well as scholars from other disciplines, such as politics, economics, sociology, anthropology and history. This diversity is valuable because it promotes cross-disciplinary dialogue and cooperation. It is also important because today the study of law cannot ignore the process of globalization, which is multifaceted and thus calls for inter-disciplinary skills and perspectives. Indeed, as globalization deepens, legal institutions at the national level are influenced and shaped by rules, practices and ideas drawn, imposed or borrowed from abroad.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International