Promoting the rule of law has become a major part of Western efforts to spread democracy and market economics around the world. Although programs to foster the rule of law abroad have mushroomed, well-grounded knowledge about what factors ensure success, and why, remains scarce. In Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad, leading practitioners and policy-oriented scholars draw on years of experience—in Russia, China, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa— to critically assess the rationale, methods, and goals of rule-of-law policies. These incisive, accessible essays offer vivid portrayals and penetrating analyses of the challenges that define this vital but often misunderstood field.

Rachel Kleinfeld (Truman National Security Project), Lisa Bhansali (World Bank), Christina Biebesheimer (World Bank),Wade Channell, Stephen Golub, David Mednicoff (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Laure-Hélène Piron (Overseas Development Institute), Matthew Spence (Truman National Security Project), Matthew Stephenson (Harvard Law School), and Frank Upham (NYU School of Law).

Thomas Carothers is founder and director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Project at the Carnegie Endowment. He is a leading authority on democracy promotion and democratization worldwide as well as an expert on U.S. foreign policy.

Praise for this publication

“Once again, as he did with democratization, Thomas Carothers has taken a topic with grand rhetorical appeal that is subject to multiple meanings and brought it down to earth for both scholars and practitioners. This book offers an invaluable cumulation of what is known about promoting the rule of law abroad while raising an essential set of questions to guide further research and practice.”
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

“If you want to understand why promoting the rule of law around the world is both ardently pursued and hotly criticized, read this spirited and sobering book. Carothers's own essays are the gold standard in this field. And he has assembled a group of exceptionally thoughtful practitioners and scholars to explore the entire range of problems confronting international rule-of-law programs. An indispensable work in a field of vital importance.”
—Stephen Holmes, Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

“This volume pays the highest compliment to those who advocate the rule of law as essential for development: it takes their efforts seriously enough to subject them to searching scrutiny. The insightful, accessible analysis it contains will help move rule of law promotion from slogan to reality.”
—Richard Messick, Sr. Public Sector Specialist, The World Bank