Alan Gignoux/World Bank


Courtesy of S. Koop


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Democracy, Development and Rule of Law

Democracy, Development  and the Rule of Law trains students to assist developing countries and transitioning societies in the design and implementation of policies to foster democracy, promote balanced and sustainable growth, and advance the rule of law in countries undergoing dramatic change. Attention is devoted to how best to harmonize the pursuit of each of these goals in the interest of helping to produce states and societies that are freer, richer, more law-abiding, and more transparent. An important dimension of the coursework is to help understand institutional arrangements at all levels of society to encourage greater responsibility and accountability in decision-making, both public and private.

Research Center

The overriding purpose of Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is the identification and pursuit of promising pathways to build strong, affluent, law-abiding, peaceful, and democratic societies in the developing world. CDDRL seeks to have a lasting impact on the public policy of countries in economic, political, and social transition by employing insights and methodologies from a number of different disciplines including economics, law, political science, and sociology. Many of the researchers associated with the Center have hands on experience having worked in venues as diverse as Washington, Moscow, Baghdad, and Kabul.

Gateway Course

The course is devoted to exploring the links between various components of the establishment of democracy, economic growth and rule of law. In particular, the course examines how and why democratic, economically developed states arise as well as how rule of law can be established in places where historically it has been largely absent. The course looks at variations in how such systems function and the consequences of institutional forms and choices, how democratic systems have arisen in different parts of the world, and available policy instruments used in international democracy, rule of law, and development promotion efforts.

Elective Courses

A full list of elective courses for the Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law concentration can be found online in Explore Degrees.