Legal Anthropology on the Battlefield: Cultural Competence in U.S. Rule of Law Programs in Iraq
AuthorShakes, David Lee
AdvisorRichardson, James T.
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This research is the first exploratory survey of rule of law officials in Iraq. Prior to this research, little has been done to examine whether U.S. rule of law efforts in Iraq were informed by a proper knowledge of the culture and criminal justice systems of Iraq and whether the U.S. learned lessons over time. This research demonstrates that understanding of the indigenous legal and social culture is critical to the success of rule of law programs, that there are distinctive characteristics of the legal culture in Iraq, and that the rule of law programs of the U.S. in Iraq were not informed by an adequate understanding of the culture of Iraq. The author concludes that a new paradigm – Enablement Plus-is necessary if the U.S. is to improve the chances of success for rule of law programs during and immediately after conflict.