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By Hatchard et al

This new ebook is an edited number of papers coming up from a convention on legislations and improvement within the twenty-first century held in 2001. it truly is in honour of the paintings of Dr Peter Slinn.

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Extra info for Law & Development: Facing Complexity in the 21st Century

Sample text

As a teacher of ‘law and development,’ I start with the rather old-fashioned notion that development policy is a matter of both contestable political choices and sharp economic analysis—for neither of which is ‘law’ a substitute. On the political side, I start from the idea that one makes policy to distribute—to give some people, groups, interests, more wealth, status, power, than they had before and to give other people less—and that law is interesting precisely as a distributional tool. To generate ‘development’ one needs to distribute in ways that will encourage development—get things into the hands of those whose return on their use will have the greatest multiplier effect.

A clear title may help me to sell or defend my claims to land—but it may impede the productive opportunities for squatters now living there or neighbours whose uses would interfere with my quiet enjoyment. A great deal will depend on what we mean by clear title—which of the numerous possible entitlements which might go with ‘title to property’ we chose to enforce. Clear rules about investment may make it easy for foreign investors—but by reducing the wealth now in the hands of those with local knowledge about how credit is allocated or how the government will behave.

These contemporary students of law and development seem to share a mid-level conception of ‘development policy’—neither a narrow matter of technical economic detail nor a broad vocabulary for political struggle, but something in between. In my experience, this is new. I may be idealising, but fifteen years ago, students of development policy in First World institutions were split between confident First Worlders for whom ‘development’ was a project of technical adjustment or economic management; and equally confident, if often angrier, students from developing societies for whom the term ‘development’ brought to mind the entire field of national—and international—political struggle.

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