Legal empowerment of the poor: does political participation matter?

Oche Onazi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article elaborates on a specific limitation of the recent emphasis on formalisation in a particular aspect of the practice of international development. Through a case study of the recent legal empowerment of the poor initiative, the article demonstrates that the value of political participation and its potential effect on poverty alleviation is illustrative of the type of values that are misplaced as a result of the pursuit of formalisation. After outlining the specific elements ofthis argument, the article shows that there is a stronger appreciation of political participationamong the poor in the informal sphere in Africa and other parts of the third world. Apart from firmly grasping the significance of political participation, the expansiveness of diverse forms of activity in the informal sphere provides a significant medium to concretise this value, particularly in ways that can compete with mainstream initiatives aspiring to do the same. The article concludes by sketching out key features and the potential of the informal political participation of the poor, including the advantage this model holds over the human right to political participation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-223
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal Jurisprudence
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Law - Jurisprudence
    • Philosophy - general


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