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Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform [Paperback]

Rachel Kleinfeld

Price: £13.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Jun 2012
In the modern era, political leaders and scholars have declared the rule of law to be essential to democracy, a necessity for economic growth, and a crucial tool in the fight for security at home and stability abroad. The United States has spent billions attempting to catalyze rule-of-law improvements within other countries. Yet despite the importance of the goal to core foreign policy needs, and the hard work of hundreds of practitioners on the ground, the track record of successful rule-of-law promotion has been paltry. In Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad, Rachel Kleinfeld describes the history and current state of reform efforts and the growing movement of second-generation reformers who view the rule of law not as a collection of institutions and laws that can be built by outsiders, but as a relationship between the state and society that must be shaped by those inside the country for lasting change. Based on research in countries from Indonesia to Albania, Kleinfeld makes a compelling case for new methods of reform that can have greater chances of success. This book offers a comprehensive overview of this growing area of policy action where diplomacy and aid meet the domestic policies of other states. Its insights into the practical methods and moral complexities of supporting reform within other countries will be useful to practitioners and students alike.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (18 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870033484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870033483
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,221,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Rachel Kleinfeld is a nonresident associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project.

Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a method to the madness 13 Jan 2013
By N. Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked up this book after it was named a top book for 2012 by Foreign Affairs. The issue of the rule of law per se did not interest me much going into it, and I was not aware of the many complicated issues that surround efforts to establish rule of law in places that are lacking it. The author makes a very strong case in ch. 2 as to why we are engaged in rule-of-law building abroad. As one can imagine, security is a big part of this, as is the promotion of human rights. Of course I was one of those people the author addresses in ch. 3: Those of us who have felt that campaigns to expand the rule of law abroad often carry with them imperialistic undertones. She does a good job of explaining how political cultures can change and how nations across the spectrum of wealth/power are divided between elites who prefer to “keep sovereignty” on the one hand, and thus not address human rights and the rule of law, and on the other hand the masses of people who very much want to address corruption and their legal systems.

The author then goes on to systematically lay out the various approaches that can be taken in rule-of-law building campaigns. She uses several historical case-studies to illustrate these approaches, and finally, she provides an actual step-by-step guide to identifying and implementing the best strategies. This is not a set of bullet points, but a comprehensive, detailed outline of the kinds of questions that those trying to set up rule of law reforms abroad need to ask themselves when crafting their plans.

The book was both inspiring and depressing. It was inspiring because it reminded me that serious people are thinking systematically about what rule of law reforms actually are and how one can begin to implement them successfully (not all case studies are failures, by the way, so much can be accomplished in the realm of rule of law reform). But it’s depressing because I have a feeling there aren’t too many books like this out there, and wonder whether key policymakers are aware of the need to approach this issue with some level of scientific vigor, as this book does. If this book had been written in 2001 would Afghanistan be in a different place today? Maybe not. But it sure feels that as a country we have been winging it for too long in this area, and it takes a scholar like Kleinfeld to help us realize that there must be a method to the madness when it comes to doing good on the promises we repeatedly make to people abroad. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rule of Law is more than writing the Rule Book 14 Oct 2013
By factoid junkie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a small business owner with degrees in engineering and business. I state this only to qualify my thoughts concerning my reading of this book.

I found Kleinfeld's arguments and examples persuasive and thought-provoking. As a US citizen nearing retirement I have had 40 years of adult life watching how our country engages in both our own rule of law development and our attempts at helping others create more stable societies based upon a rule of law. Kleinfeld's work helped me categorize my impressions of Western countries failures and successes. Failures stem from a too simplistic methodology, because the more complex one (her outline of second generation rule of law development) is simply harder to do. The irony is that second generation rule of law development seems to be more common sensical even if more difficult.

Her technical analysis is bolstered by current examples which I found refreshing as a non-student of this domain. In some ways I think her rule of law methodology could be an interesting template to use to evaluate some of our current domestic travails. It has provided me with new ways of thinking about corporate and political leadership issues, which is the domain in which I earn my living.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in how weak states can build a stable government, political science generally, historians who desire to bolster their legal eye of history, or those who are curious about subjects outside their professional domain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class 27 Jan 2013
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tracing the movement from the 1970's and 80's ill defined development and law programs to first generation institution oriented rule of law and finally to second generation problem oriented rule of law programs is enlightening for donors and donees alike. Kleinfeld's approach is keyed to American donor programs for the most part, which is somewhat limiting. All in all, this book is a first class contribution to the field.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 13 Jun 2013
By Washguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book. This book provides a lot of great detail on a very interesting topic. Must read.
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