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Growing Political Will From the Grassroots: How Social Movement Principles Can Reverse the Dismal Legacy of of Rule of Law Interventions

By: Fran Quigley

Columbia Human Rights Law Review paper on the failure of rule of law interventions, and the importance of fostering bottom up legal reform initiatives.

ABSTRACT: The international community’s efforts to promote the rule of law and human rights in developing countries have been largely unsuccessful. This record of disappointment is typically attributed to a lack of political will for reform in the host societies. As a result, an estimated four billion people worldwide are without access to human rights, and suffer without recourse from discrimination, theft, and other forms of physical and emotional harm. In order to more effectively bring about reform, it is time for rule of law promoters to draw upon the lessons of social science, and particularly the study of social movements. This Article represents the first effort to view the challenge of instilling political will for law reform through the prism of social movement theory and its analysis of events like the U.S. civil rights movement, the South African antiapartheid movement, and the Eastern European democracy movement.

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Uploaded on: Sep 26, 2011
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2009
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