Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Title

Emory L. J. Online


This essay is a review of and a response to Urban Decay, Austerity, and Rule of Law, an article written by Brent White, Simone Sepe, and Saura Masconale. Building upon an intuitively compelling social contract theory insight, the article sets out the theoretical and empirical cases for the authors' contention that sustained investment in highly visible, essential local public goods provides crucial support for rule of law. In this invited response, Professor Kelly welcomes the article's introduction of the rule of law paradigm to domestic urban policy, finds fault with its selection of public goods that purportedly influence rule of law, and contends that the UDT has far greater potential than the poor support it can offer the authors' flawed policy proposal. By conceptualizing the domestic urban policy goal as rule of law rather than order, the authors open measurements of success to go beyond crime rates and majoritarian perceptions of personal safety.

First Page


Publication Date