34 Whittier L. Rev. 245 (2012-2013)
Legal Poverty and the Rule of Law in Strife-Torn States

handle is hein.journals/whitlr34 and id is 269 raw text is: LEGAL POVERTY
AND THE RULE OF LAW
IN STRIFE-TORN STATES
MARK FATHI MASSOUD*
I. INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY
How can scholars, lawyers, and policymakers in international and
comparative law think more systematically about the relationship
between law, poverty, and dynamics of power in the global South,
particularly in authoritarian states or settings beset by political violence
and civil war? This essay suggests three preliminary responses to this
question and explores issues for future empirical research. First, I
propose paying attention to the multiple features of law's power-how
legal tools and resources can obstruct as well as advance the goals of
international development. Second, I propose questioning how the
promotion of international law offers a solution to the problem of
poverty in the global South. Third, I propose assessing the export and
impact of a model of the rule of law that generally does not include
moderate interpretations of religious law.
The relationship between law, poverty, and power has been
documented extensively in Western, particularly American, settings.1
But as Western legal scholarship focuses increasingly on the global
* Assistant Professor of Politics and Legal Studies, University of California, Santa
Cruz. An earlier version of this essay was presented at the 2012 Whittier Law School
symposium, Expanding Critical Spaces in International Law Discourse. The author
thanks audience members, Manoj Mate, and Seval Yildirim for helpful comments.
1. See, e.g., RUSSELL W. GALLOWAY, JUSTICE FOR ALL?: THE RICH AND POOR IN
SUPREME COURT HISTORY 1790-1990 vii (1991); HELEN HERSHKOFF & STEPHEN
LOFFREDO, THE RIGHTS OF THE POOR: THE AUTHORITATIVE ACLU GUIDE TO POOR
PEOPLE'S RIGHTS xiv (1997). See also Kristin Bumiller, Victims in the Shadow of the
Law: A Critique of the Model of Legal Protection, 12 SIGNS: J. WOMEN AND CULTURE
IN Soc'Y 421, 423-24 (1987).

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