Constructing Law out of Power

Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth

in Cause Lawyering and the State in a Global Era

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195141177
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199871391 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

 Constructing Law out of Power

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This chapter examines the transnational linkages, patterns of exportation and continuing connections between cause lawyers in the U.S.A. and in Latin America, and how in each region they influence, and are influenced by, transformations in governance. It argues that human rights organizations and lawyers, funded largely by U.S. philanthropic foundations, mobilized the international community in efforts to stop local human rights abuses, and thereby played a leading role in challenging authoritarian regimes in Latin America and in paving the way for democratization. However, their very success has now weakened their influence, and it is questionable how firmly rooted their achievements will turn out to be.

Keywords: cause lawyers; democratization; human rights; Latin America

Chapter.  14923 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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