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 13: Power rules: The World Bank, rule of law reform, and the World

Deval Desai


This chapter introduces the World Bank’s World Development Report 2017: Governance and Law. I argue that it should be understood as the Bank setting out a new conceptual approach to rule of law reform. To put the report’s novelty into context, I critique prevailing attempts to contextualise rule of law reform at the Bank. I instead present the report as a field-constituting document – that is, a document that attempts to organise the debates in the field. I also relate the report’s organisation of the field to the Bank’s own organisation of its rule of law reform work. I set out the beginning of a research agenda to ‘de-homogenise’ the Bank and understand the idiosyncratic outcomes of the report, in particular how debates about rule of law reform are socially organised within the Bank, and thus how the report will shape rule of law reform in years to come.

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