Synopses & Reviews
This book looks at why it's so difficult to create 'the rule of law' in post-conflict societies such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and offers critical insights into how policy-makers and field-workers can improve future rule of law efforts. A must-read for policy-makers, field-workers, journalists and students trying to make sense of the international community's problems in Iraq and elsewhere, this book shows how a narrow focus on building institutions such as courts and legislatures misses the more complex cultural issues that affect societal commitment to the values associated with the rule of law. The authors place the rule of law in context, showing the interconnectedness between the rule of law and other post-conflict priorities, such as reestablishing security. The authors outline a pragmatic, synergistic approach to the rule of law which promises to reinvigorate debates about transitions to democracy and post-conflict reconstruction.
Finally a single volume that coherently and intelligently examines the current wave of rule of law efforts in nation building endeavors. Its mix of theory, contemporary examples and practical guidance makes it immensely valuable to policy makers, practitioners and students a like. With refreshing candor and cognizance of the ultimate limitations of external efforts to establish the rule of law, Can Might Make Rights is nonetheless invigorating and inspiring of our ability to do this work much more effectively.
Deborah Isser, Senior Rule of Law Advisor, United States Institute of PeaceThis book is an important advance in the scholarship related to transitional and post conflict issues to ensure that the rule of law is the cornerstone to a building plan in restoring a sustainable peace in a war-torn and unstable region.
Can Might Make Rights is an honest and imminently practical resource for the policy maker, legal practitioner/advisor, and student who must understand the nuances in creating a new society or nation based on the rule of law after the shooting has stopped. This readable book helps in our understanding of the process by which we can ensure that a military intervention can produce a positive and peace-sustaining society.
The authors, experienced practitioners and academics, correctly focus on a synergetic approach to building the rule of law, stressing the importance of the historical and cultural context in establishing stability in the dark cornersof the world that are used by terrorists to hide and for the beast of impunity to lurk unchecked.
Having been involved in military interventions or in seeking a sustainable peace after conflict all my professional life, the world is just beginning to realize that only through the rule of law will that peace be sustainable and allow for the growth of freedom and equal justice so important in the international fight on terror. I would have found this book useful in my work domestically and internationally.
David M. Crane, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of LawCan Might Make Rights addresses the most difficult challenge in the realm of military interventions, whether justified or unjustified: what to do in the aftermath. Professors Stromseth, Wippman and Brooks have written the most comprehensive and impressive book examining how the rule of law is the foundation of any society's post-intervention recovery and advancement. This is a study for the policy-making and academic worlds that brilliantly offers historical perspective, contemporary insight, and invaluable guidance for the future. It would be folly to act in ignorance of what this book teaches.
Professor David Scheffer, Northwestern University School of Law and former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes IssuesWhether in Iraq or Kosovo, building rule of law after military conflict cannot be done on the cheap. This complex, critical task demands not just resources and planning, but vision and imagination. This important, readable volume offers these elements, as three talented and experienced international lawyers build on hundreds of interviews to design a synergistic, systemic framework for creating rule of law cultures in post-conflict societies.
Harold Hongju Koh Dean, Yale Law School and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 1998-2001
'Why is it so difficult to promote stability and democracy in societies such as Iraq and Afghanistan? In Can Might Make Rights?, the authors show how an excessively narrow understanding of \'the rule of law\' has led policy-makers to fund short-sighted and self-undermining programs. The authors argue for a new \'synergistic\' approach to creating the rule of law in conflict-ridden and transitional societies, highlighting the interconnectedness of security, human rights, justice institutions and culture in the quest to create the \'rule of law\'.\n
About the Author
Jane Stromseth is Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center where she teaches in the fields of international law and constitutional law. She has written widely on international law governing the use of force, humanitarian intervention, accountability for human rights atrocities, and constitutional war powers. She is editor and contributor to Accountability for Atrocities: National and International Responses (Transnational Press, 2003), contributor to Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge University Press, 2003), contributor to Enforcing Restraint: Collective Intervention in Internal Conflicts (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993), contributor to The U.S. Constitution and the Power to Go to War (1994), and author of The Origins of Flexible Response: NATO's Debate over Strategy in the 1960s (Macmillan, 1988). She has published in law journals including the American Journal of International Law, Yale Law Journal, and the Georgetown Law Journal, and she has appeared on CNN, NBC, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio. She has served in government as a Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the National Security Council (1999-2000), and as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State (1989-1990). A Rhodes Scholar, Stromseth holds a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University, a law degree from Yale Law School, and a BA degree from Swarthmore College. She serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of International Law.Rosa Brooks is a Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a consultant for the Human Rights Watch and for the President's Office at the Open Society Institute. She was on the Board of Directors for Amnesty International USA from 2002-2003 and a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government from 2000-2001. She also worked for the US Department of State as a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Brooks is a weekly columnist for The Los Angeles Times. She has written articles for The Washington Post and Harpers and published in scholarly journals such as The University of Chicago Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Georgetown Law Review and The Yale Journal of Law and Feminism.David Wippman is Vice Provost for International Relations, Cornell University, and Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School. He previously served as: Partner in Reichler &Appelbaum, a firm specializing in the representation of developing countries, 1984-1992; as a Director in the office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs, National Security Council, 1998-99; visiting scholar, University of Ulster, 2000-2003; associate dean, Cornell Law School, 2004. Wippman is co-author of International Law: Norms, Actors, Process (2002; 2nd edition forthcoming 2006) (with Steve Ratner &Jeff Dunoff); co-editor and contributor, New Wars, New Laws? Applying the Laws of War in 21st Century Conflicts (2005).
Table of Contents
1. The new imperialism?; 2. Interventions and international law: the impact of legality and legitimacy on building the rule of law; 3. The elusive rule of law; 4. Blueprints for post-conflict governance and their impact on the rule of law; 5. Security as sine qua non; 6. The challenge of long-term justice reform; 7. Moving forward by looking backward? Accountability for atrocities and strengthening the rule of law; 8. Creating rule of law cultures; 9. Strengthening efforts to lay the groundwork for the rule of law: institutions and resources; 10. Conclusion.