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MaxPo Discussion Paper No. 21/1
Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo), Paris
The legal order is the legitimate foundation of liberal democracy. Its incomplete enforcement of the law can therefore appear dysfunctional, reflecting weak institutions, state capture, and corrupt practices. This paper casts doubt on such categorical assessments by systematically examining the reasons for and intentions behind incomplete enforcement. It argues that law enforcement is part of the political process that is deeply affected by the constellation of actors concerned. Choices over law enforcement produce social order that is analytically distinct from the production of legal norms and their formal implementation. By analyzing different types of partial enforcement, its rationales, and intended effects, we propose an approach that studies law enforcement as an integral part of public policy analysis and of the study of socioeconomic orders.
economic development
informal institutions
law enforcement
policy implementation
state capacity
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Working Paper

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