chapter  2
Rule of law, democracy and the sequencing debate: Lessons from China and Vietnam
Pages 22

Sequencing has recently become a bad word in development circles. Tom Carothers has led the charge with his article “How Democracies Emerge: The ‘Sequencing’ Fallacy,” published in the Journal of Democracy , which was then followed by a debate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 2 In 2008, the Commission of Legal Empowerment of the Poor, co-chaired by Hernando de Soto and Madeleine Albright, also took issue with the notion that economic and institutional development, including the establishment of the rule of law and a functional legal system, should precede democratization, while asserting that democracy and legal empowerment should be synchronized rather than sequenced. 3 Similarly, the suggestion at an annual rule of law conference of The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law that sequencing of reforms might be an appropriate topic for a regional meeting in Asia met with vehement opposition.