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Rodolfo Sarsfield

Concepts and Methods

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Rethinking The Rule Of Law: Concepts, Measures And Theory, Ryan Carlin, Rodolfo Sarsfield Aug 2012

Rethinking The Rule Of Law: Concepts, Measures And Theory, Ryan Carlin, Rodolfo Sarsfield

Rodolfo Sarsfield

Like many major targets of social inquiry, the rule of law seems to be an essentially contested concept (Gallie, 1956; Collier, Hidalgo, and Maciuceanu; 2007, Waldron, 2002). The literature teems with definitions of the rule of law, emphasizing attributes ranging from formal legality and checks and balances to order, democracy, and individual rights (Møller and Skaaning, in this issue). And while surveys of competing definitions exist, scholars have yet to converge on a systematized concept amenable to operationalization. One fundamental debate concerns “thick” versus “thin” definitions of the rule of law (Møller and Skaaning, in this issue). Another unsettled question ...