ARTICLE: Thinking with Culture in Law and Development Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this article.
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a® ID.
US $22.00 (+ tax)

Copyright (c) 2009 Buffalo Law Review
Buffalo Law Review

ARTICLE: Thinking with Culture in Law and Development

April, 2009

Buffalo Law Review

57 Buffalo L. Rev. 511





This Article considers a renewed emphasis on culture within law and development scholarship and practice--what I term the "turn to culture." In the 1980s and 1990s, rule-of-law projects, comprising a multi-billion dollar development effort devoted to strengthening legal institutions abroad, produced many disappointing results. 1 In the wake of sobering assessments of the effects of these projects, a number of committed law professors proposed turning away from the purely institutional or technical elements of rule-of-law promotion and towards an exploration of the cultural and ideological forces underpinning social change. More specifically, they invited law and development scholars and practitioners to consider whether changing local cultures could contribute to achieving development and the rule of law.

In this Article, I assess what I call neocultural interventionist proposals to promote the rule of law, 2 both in academic publications, 3 and their growing uptake in development policy. 4 Neocultural interventionists argue that transplanted laws, rules, and institutions are unlikely to produce their intended social effects in divergent social contexts or, for that matter, to produce any effects at all. And they suggest changing the hearts and minds of ordinary people in order to make these institutional reforms more determinate and effective. They therefore aspire to contextualize what they aptly describe as flawed approaches to law reform--approaches that pay insufficient attention to the individual culture-bearers who are law's users. Both academic and programmatic versions of this project agree that development programs should inculcate a "rule of law culture" ...
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities