A just rule of law?

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During fieldwork in Mexico in 2007, I suggested to a leader of a movement called Citizen Power, which promoted participation in municipal politics, that they might pay more attention to law. I had in mind that they could take municipal governments to court and also work to improve the administration of justice. Holding power to law while reforming it would help to push citizenship beyond participating in politics, freeing citizens from the arbitrary rule of power. He replied that they regarded the law as a tool of political and economic elites.
Was the Citizen Power leader right to query the rule of law as a road to justice? I will review the two books by considering how they help to answer that question and, more broadly, what prospects their authors hold out for a just rule of law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-355
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Anthropology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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