Handbook on the Rule of Law
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Handbook on the Rule of Law

Edited by Christopher May and Adam Winchester

The discussion of the norm of the rule of law has broken out of the confines of jurisprudence and is of growing interest to many non-legal researchers. A range of issues are explored in this volume that will help non-specialists with an interest in the rule of law develop a nuanced understanding of its character and political implications. It is explicitly aimed at those who know the rule of law is important and while having little legal background, would like to know more about the norm.
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Chapter 3: Difficulties with measuring the rule of law

Tom Ginsburg


There are various different approaches in the literature to conceptualizing and measuring the rule of law.  In this contribution we compare various approaches and identify relevant measures. We find strong correlations among them, notwithstanding very different approaches to conceptualization. This itself raises a puzzle about what is driving the convergence.  We find that all the measures are highly correlated with corruption indices, suggesting that the convergence is driven by a common third factor.  Following Rothstein (2014), we argue that the rule of law indicators  capture a more encompassing concept of impartial administration.  The chapter thus critiques the rule of law measurement enterprise as insufficiently linked to the underlying normative concept.

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