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Prepare your indicators: economics imperialism on the shores of law and development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2011

Amanda Perry-Kessaris*
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


This article explores the influence of economics on the demand for, and deployment of, indicators in the context of the World Bank's investment climate campaign. This campaign is characterised by an emphasis on marketisation, mathematisation and quantification, which are respectively the normative, analytical and empirical approaches of choice in mainstream economics. The article concludes that economics generally, and indicators in particular, have brought a certain discipline and energy to the field of law and development. But this ‘progress’ has often been at the expense of non-economic values and interests, and even of our ability to mourn their loss.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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