Laura R. Palmer

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The great changes in world politics over the past decade have precipitated a vast increase in efforts to promote American legal models in the provision of assistance to regimes in transition throughout the world. The euphoria associated with the transitions from communism throughout the former Soviet Bloc has ushered in, as one scholar notes, "a triumphant philosophy of history: the conversion of Them into Us (or U.S.), the final admission that freedom and democracy are to be gained only where the magical logics of capitalism and modernity are allowed to cast their spell over time and space." As a result, as many have noted, much American legal guidance to transition societies in the past decade has been characterized by the wholesale exportation of American norms, without adequate consideration of their context or consequences.

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