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This book explores the objectives pursued in donor programs, the methods used to advance them, and the underlying assumptions and strategies. It emphasizes the unexpected and sometimes unpleasant consequences of ignoring not only political and societal constraints but also advances in our technical approaches to performance improvement, the one area where the First World has a comparative advantage.
The geographic scope of the work is broad, incorporating examples from Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region as well as from several First World nations. Justice Reform and Development examines First World assistance to justice or "rule of law" reforms in developing and transitional societies, arguing that its purported failure is vastly exaggerated, largely because of unrealistic expectations as to what could be accomplished.
Change nonetheless is needed if the programs are to continue and would be best based on targeting specific performance problems, incorporation of donor countries' experience with their own reforms, and greater attention to relevant research. While contributing to an on-going debate among practitioners and academics involved in justice programs, this book will also be accessible to readers with little exposure to the topics, especially advanced undergraduate and graduate students in law, political science and areas studies.