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School of Law

Law and Governance in the Developing World

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Taught in:
Term 2

The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and empirical understanding of governance, from the perspective of comparative public law and in the context of law and development studies.

This course focuses on the traditions and institutions by which citizens govern themselves. Its starting point are the main tenets of the law-and-governance movement, i.e. an emphasis on the rule of law, participation, transparency and accountability in government, and the need to develop a working public law regime, both in terms of rules and doctrines as well as institutional design. Based on this, the course takes a comparative and empirical public law approach to governance issues in the developing countries of Asia and Africa.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between competing perspectives on governance.
  2. Examine contemporary manifestations of governance processes from a public law perspective and in the context of the sociology and political economy of development.
  3. Critically analyse governance as a question of constitutional design and to understand how the working of specific institutions and rules is embedded within larger socio-legal frameworks and influenced by numerous agencies (e.g. political parties and elections, patterns of resource distribution, culture and history, or simple institutional self-interest).
  4. Illustrate this understanding through the use of specific case studies, empirical evidence and by conducting independent research with particular emphasis on comparative approaches to law and development studies, governance, administrative and public law.

Scope and syllabus

Topics are likely to include:

  1. Law, Governance, and Development
  2. Governance Technology: Rule of Law and Rights Indicators
  3. Legal Empowerment
  4. Participatory Governance One: Representation and Electoral Systems
  5. Participatory Governance Two: Voting Rights and Electoral Oversight
  6. New Separation of Powers and Non-Majoritarian Institutions
  7. Multi-Level Governance: Federalism
  8. Courts: Judicialisation of Governance
  9. Rights: Juridification of Governance
  10. Open Governance: Freedom of Information Laws

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 100% coursework - one 6000 word essay (100%). Coursework is resubmissable.