Edited by Christopher May and Adam Winchester
Chapter 13: Power rules: The World Bank, rule of law reform, and the World
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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