Universiteit Leiden

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Law, Culture and Development

Law is of major importance for socio-economic development. Ideally, law organizes human interaction in a way that promotes justice and legal certainty and protects vulnerable groups from exploitation and arbitrariness.

The law offers the state an instrument to achieve development goals. At the same time the law imposes restrictions on the state’s actions towards citizens. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, however, all this is not self-evident and law often only partially performs the functions mentioned. This can partly be explained by the fact that law does neither arise from nor function within a vacuum, but in a particular historical, political, economic and social context, nationally as well as on a global level.

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