Courses@BoaltNOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.
262.7 sec. 1 - International Development and Legal Empowerment (Spring 2013)
Instructor: Stephen Golub (view instructor's teaching evaluations)
"International Development and Legal Empowerment:: A Social Justice Approach to Development Policy"
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Meeting Time: TuTh 6:25-8:35
Meeting Location: 115
Course Start: January 08, 2013
Course End: March 14, 2013
Course Control Number (1Ls): 51239 (section 2)
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49867
This course will meet 1/8, 1/10, 1/15, 1/17, 1/22, 1/24, 1/29, 1/31, 2/5, 2/28, 3/5, and 3/7.
Overview: This course will introduce students both to the general field of law-and-development and to the growing field of legal empowerment, which emphasizes social justice and which is gaining attention from organizations ranging from the World Bank to Amnesty International.
Legal empowerment is where two powerful trends of our times, the increasing attention to rights and to development, come together. It concentrates on: employing law and rights specifically to benefit the poor; the political aspects of development, particularly the power dimensions of how laws are reformed and implemented, and the opportunities and obstacles for the disadvantaged to increase their power; and how the use of rights can extend beyond a narrowly defined “justice sector,” such as to decrease infant mortality and battle corruption.
This also is a professional development course. It draws on the instructor’s extensive experience as a development practitioner to provide a basic introduction to some concepts, initiatives and organizations (ranging from the World Bank to the Open Society Foundations to international nongovernmental organizations) potentially useful to students who are considering careers in international development, human rights or related fields.
About legal empowerment: Here are a few examples of what LE involves:
• A farmers’ association helps its members gain greater control of their land via organizing and mobilizing them and assisting them with the administrative processes.
• A local women’s organization uses law and advocacy to combat domestic violence, enhancing the health, physical security and independence of women in the area.
• Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) enable impoverished beneficiaries to monitor and act on their rights to public health services, reducing infant mortality as a result.
• An NGO works with grassroots groups to gradually make traditional justice systems - the only law many rural poor can access - less gender-biased.
• Public interest lawyers partner with the urban poor, minority groups and HIV/AIDS victims to win judicial, regulatory or legislative victories.
More about the course: Students will come away from the course with a basic understanding of legal empowerment and international development. But, particularly via the class discussions, they will be encouraged to arrive at their own conclusions and further questions they might want to address in their academic or professional careers. Thus, students should not expect the course to cover black letter law at all; it is far more about development policy and impact.
The course will partly flow from the instructor’s experience and perspective as a development practitioner, described in more detail below. Accordingly, as part of and in addition to the focus on legal empowerment, some of the other themes the course will address will include:
• The bureaucratic and political dimensions that shape (and often constrain) how development agencies operate.
• A critique of conventional approaches to integrating law and development, which (unlike legal empowerment) tend to focus on technical approaches to fortifying judiciaries and other government institutions rather than on strengthening and benefiting the power and rights of the poor.
• Evidence of impact of legal empowerment activities and strategies.
• Methodologies for evaluating such impact, as well as practical constraints on employing some such methodologies.
This course is different enough from a Fall 2012 offering, Legal Institutions and Global Economic Development, that students interested in international development and/or related careers will benefit from taking both classes. The two will only overlap to a minor extent due to their readings, substantive foci and complementary but distinctly different orientations and backgrounds of the instructors.
Any student who does not gain entry to the course through the normal enrollment process, but who is nevertheless very interested in taking it, may submit a 500-word essay to the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 1, 2012. In your note, please describe your personal and/or professional background, career plans or any other reasons for your interest. You will be notified about acceptance by Dec. 8, 2012.
Evaluation: The two bases for student evaluation are:
• Eighty-five percent: Either a 20-page paper, on a topic of the student’s own choosing, subject to approval by the instructor, or an eight-hour take-home examination.
• Fifteen percent: the quality of students’ comments and class participation.
Instructor: Stephen Golub is a consultant, lecturer and attorney with over 25 years of international experience in 40 countries across the globe. His prominent role in legal empowerment includes coining the concept in a 2001 Asian Development Bank report he authored; and editing books and journals on the topic. He also has consulted and conducted research on this and related topics for the Open Society Foundations, the World Bank, the Asia Foundation, the U.K. Department for International Development, Oxfam, the U.N. Development Programme, the Danish and Dutch development agencies, the Ford Foundation, Amideast, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Public Interest Law Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Amnesty International, Transparency International, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and many other organizations.
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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.