This Essay uses the experiences of international efforts to promote clinical legal aid in China to explore one such unexpected consequence of globalization: international assistance's understandable focus on more familiar kinds of legal aid institutions and activities can unintentionally impede the development of indigenous legal aid practices and institutions that might ultimately be better suited for the particular domestic environment. Part I of this essay will discuss international efforts to promote clinical legal aid in China, Part II will discuss reductive strategies for promoting legal development and the problems they present, Part III will discuss pragmatic strategies for promoting legal development and Part IV will provide an example from China to demonstrate the superior catalyzing potential inherent in pragmatic developmental strategies. The essay concludes that international development projects need to shift their focus from one of simply replicating successful foreign models (what we will call a reductive strategy) to one of promoting discovery of the indigenous developmental implications and possibilities inherent in the domestic environment (what we will call a pragmatic strategy).
Michael William Dowdle,
Preserving Indigenous Paradigms in an Age of Globalization: Pragmatic Strategies for the Development of Clinical Legal Aid in China,
24 Fordham Int'l L.J. S56
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol24/iss6/4