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Title:A model of a rule of law and a rule of man: Implications for the design of institutions PDF Logo
Authors:Chu, Ke-young
Issue Date:2004
Series/Report no.:Research Paper, UNU-WIDER, United Nations University (UNU) 2004/65
Abstract:Findings of cross-cultural psychology suggest that different approaches to rule enforcement have cultural roots. Individualist societies have established a rule of law, in which rules prevail; collectivist societies have a rule of man, which allows discretionary rule enforcement, which, in turn, is recognized as an obstacle to sustained increases in productive long-term investment in developing countries. This paper presents a model that offers a unified framework to explain rule enforcement as social optimization processes in both individualist and collectivist societies and, on this basis, highlights the essential differences between a rule of law and a rule man (i.e., between rules and discretion). The paper uses this framework to show that cross-country variations in rule enforcement are explained to a considerable extent by cultural values. The paper then uses the framework to show how the imported multi-stage rule enforcement institutions based on separation of powers in vertically-oriented collectivist societies, unlike in the individualist societies from which they originate, might not ensure as low a degree of discretion as intended. Finally, the paper uses these results to explore practical ideas that would help collectivist societies benefit from rule enforcement with low discretion.
Subjects:rule of law
rule of man
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:WIDER Research Papers, United Nations University (UNU)

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