VIDEO: Law, Lawyers, and Global Development: Can Lawyers Change the World?
In his inaugural lecture as NYU Professor of Business Law, Kevin Davis addresses the question of how the law and lawyers can play a role in global economic development (skip to 9m5s). ©2009 NYU School of Law (English only)

— Abstract

Development thinkers have pondered the relationship between law and development in the post-colonial era. They have considered whether there are particular types of legal institutions associated with particular trajectories of economic development. And whether there is a causal relationship between law and development, i.e. specific legal reforms cause specific development outcomes. The answers have major implications for policy-makers. The history of ideas about these topics can be traced back from Max Weber to proponents of the “right to development.”

Some of the dominant intellectual frameworks present limitations, which include:

  • failure to draw on the experience of countries in the global South;
  • misplaced reliance on problematic conceptual dichotomies, such as legal/non-legal, public/private, common law/civil law, and domestic/international;
  • and, failure to acknowledge the complexity and mutability of legal institutions.
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— Suggested Readings

Carothers, Thomas. (2006). Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad: In Search of Knowledge. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Davis, Kevin E. and Michael J. Trebilcock (2008). “The Relationship Between Law and Development: Optimists versus Skeptics,” American Journal of Comparative Law, 56: 895–946.

Jensen, Erick G. and Thomas C. Heller (eds.) (2003). Beyond Common Knowledge: Empirical Approaches to the Rule of Law. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Lewis, David. 2013. Building new competition law regimes: selected essays. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. (Résumé en français disponible ici)

Shirley, Mary. (2008). Institutions and Development: Advances in New Institutional Analysis. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Trebilcock, Michael J. and Mariana Mota Prado (2011). What Makes Poor Countries Poor: Institutional Determinants of Development. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Trubek, David M. and Alvaro Santos (eds.) (2008). The New Law and Economic Development: A Critical Appraisal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.