During the 1960’s and early 1970’s, the U.S. Government and various private foundations funded a number of programs intended to help reform the legal systems of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with a few to facilitating economic development in the third world. The premise of the programs was that law played a central role in the development process and could be employed as a tool to engineer change.
This so-called law and development movement was short-lived. Most who were part of it came quickly to believe that their core assumptions about the relationship between law and developments were incorrect. They abandoned the movement and their programs were not renewed.
The issue, though, of whether law reform can facilitate economic development in the third world has not gone entirely away. In Asia, where more than a few impoverished countries have experienced unprecedented economic growth in recent decades, claims are being made by some scholars that such growth was aided by law reforms; and that current efforts to revive (where growth has faltered) and sustain development in Asia are doomed to fail unless and until further, appropriate legal reforms are put in place.
The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students to  the law and development movement and  ways to talk about possible relationships between economic development and the law, with special reference to Asia. The seminar will focus on several Asian countries that have experienced recent, substantial economic growth (including China, Indonesia and India) and several specific areas of legal reform (including secured transactions, corruption and the judiciary).
|Course Format||Seminar participants will be expected to read 50 to 60 pages of material each week. Participants will also be expected to write several papers, including (2) 3-5 page papers during the course of the seminar and a longer, final paper (8-15 pages) in lieu of final exam.|
|Written Assignments||See "Course Format".|
|Type of Exam||None|
|Basis for grading|