[Featured Resource] Legal Empowerment and Group-Based Inequality

This week’s featured resource is the Legal Empowerment and Group-Based Inequality by Rachel Gisselquist.

This special issue of the Journal of Development Studies speaks to this gap with contributions on six core areas of legal empowerment. This article frames the collection. It provides a brief introduction to legal empowerment and advances two broad arguments. First, an ethnic group-focused approach is a useful starting point in considering the impact of legal empowerment and other development interventions. Second, the state via the law contributes to ethnic inequalities in four broad ways – via its written laws, their implementation and actual practice, historical legacies of law and practice, and ethnic hegemony embedded in the system. Thinking about legal empowerment initiatives within this framework provides understanding both of their potential and their limitations.

More about Legal Empowerment and Group-Based Inequality

Legal empowerment has become widely accepted in development policy circles as an approach to addressing poverty and exclusion. At the same time, it has received relatively little attention from political scientists and sociologists working on overlapping and closely related topics – the rule of law, the functioning of judicial systems, property rights, labour politics, and business and governance, among others.

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The Featured Resource is a short profile of a key resource found in the resource library of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. These resources can be older or brand new, but they all touch on important themes within legal empowerment. If you have a resource you would like to profile with the network, upload it directly at this link or email it to community@namati.org


Thanks for sharing this useful material