This study examines how court systems capable of holding public officials accountable evolve. Although its main purpose is to inform the way we understand this process in Africa and other parts of the developing world, the account tries to make general points by way of a short, idiosyncratic excursion through United States' judicial history. The purpose is to examine more closely important aspects of explanation often not considered. Reform requires more than an incentive to seek change. Leadership, appropriate framing, a supply of ideas, and institutional capacity all matter too. Rarely do these things come together at the same moment, although happy conjunctions are more likely to occur in some political systems than in others. Change happens slowly, in fits and starts, with the benefits realized only after the ingredients are all assembled. Whether it is possible to sustain the impetus for reform while the pieces come together may depend heavily on the existence of organized civic groups and the links between the members of these groups and those in power.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations