chapter  2
Law as a Communal Resource
Pages 26

This chapter builds an analytical framework for investigating the role of legal

systems in foreign investor-government-civil society relations.1 It begins with an

exploration of Roger Cotterrell’s notion of relations of community, and the role

of law in supporting such stable, trusting and productive relations. This law-and-

community approach is shown to be an appropriate and enlightening lens through

which to investigate the role of legal systems in investment relations. The chapter

ends with two notes of caution. First, it is proposed that legal strategies adopted

by investment, government and civil society actors are likely to affect how and to

what extent a legal system functions as a communal resource. Second, concerns

are raised about the constraints which investment climate discourse might place

upon the ability of legal systems to act as a communal resource.