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Title: Theatre of the rule of law : an inquiry into transnational rule of law promotion
Author: Humphreys, S. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis concerns a burgeoning field of practice – the financial and programmatic support for legal and institutional reform across borders, now generally known as ‘rule of law promotion’. The thesis aims to describe what might be called the ‘latent theory’ of the rule of law field: what kind of world is imagined in these programs (and the literature they have generated), and how do donors and funders go about making that world a reality. Given how heavily the field has come to rely on ‘the rule of law’ as its guiding rhetoric, my thesis is also concerned with the changing parameters of the rule of law itself as a term of art: what does the term now encompass, how does current usage differ from its past referential scope, and what factors have contributed to its evolution? The thesis looks at two separate traditions that have produced contemporary transnational rule of law reform: the rule of law ideal, a complex and contested tradition initiated by Albert Dicey in 1885; and the colonial export of laws and institutions, which serves as a precursor for modern efforts, but is difficult to reconcile with the rule of law ideal. The thesis makes the case that each of these traditions – the long-running political, economic and legal debates that have sculpted the landscape of the rule of law ideal, on one hand; the particular experience of the directed application of law abroad in pursuit of economic ends, on the other – have nourished and shaped the contemporary rule of law phenomenon. In short, I claim, it is difficult or impossible to understand the field of rule of law promotion without first grasping the long battles over the term’s content and the evolution of the practice of legal export.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available