Loyola University Chicago

Rule of Law for Development Institute

School of Law

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Complexity, Legal and Institutional Change, and Rule of Law

Complexity, Legal and Institutional Change, and Rule of Law

Complexity theory and its application to international development is a rapidly expanding area of research with important implications for rule of law reform.  To explore these issues, the Program held its inaugural conference on Complexity, Legal and Institutional Change, and Rule of Law on December 1 and 2, at the Loyola University Rome Campus.

Led by Professor Thomas McInerney, the conference sought to explore the application of complexity theory to development assistance in the rule of law field. The Institute welcomed more than 50 participants from around the globe, from both the academic and development practitioner communities. Professor Michal Shur-Ofry of the Faculty of Law, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, delivered the keynote address, “Towards a Paradigm of Law and Complexity”.

The presenters addressed a variety of topics including complexity theory as it applies to rule of law program management, sector-wide approaches to reform, rule of law change processes, social behavior and norms in development, stakeholder involvement, and international law and global governance.

The conference reflected keen interest among both the practitioner and scholar communities in advancing research on this topic.  The Institute will seek to contribute to this work in the coming years to improve the knowledge base of its programs and strengthen the results from rule of law programming.