After a hiatus, law has re-emerged onto the international development agenda. A number of reasons are suggested: first, the ‘good governance’ policies advocated by the international donor community see reform of the state and its relations with society as key elements in promoting market-led growth.
Second, more legitimate and effective legal institutions are needed to protect citizen’s rights, limit the actions of corrupt state officials and protect the livelihoods of poor people. Then, there is an emerging concern with the legally defined concept of citizenship.
Finally, questions of policing, access to justice and judicial reform are near the top of many national agendas, after levels of crime, civil disorder and violence have risen in the cities of the developing world. The articles in this IDS Bulletin are the product of an international workshop that considered these issues, held at IDS in June 2000.