The rule of law has traditionally been conceived as an intrinsically positive and politically neutral tool, universally valid and capable of being ‘exported’ everywhere.This article asserts that such anambiguous concept has a bright and a dark side, the latter being excluded from any public discussion. The rhetoric of the ‘rule of law’ has been used by Western powers in order to justify interventions (mainly) into the ‘developing’ world, that ultimately turned into practices of plunder, allowing the expansion of Western economic power over the ‘rest’, thus backing a claim that the rule of law has been used ‘illegally’. Intellectual myopia, ethnocentrism and imperial attitudes stand behind the conception of the rule of law that currently wraps international financial institutions’—today’s global legislators—reform projects in the ‘developing world’. The transformation of the concept of ‘law’ into that of a ‘technicality’, the globally dominant position enjoyed by U.S. law and the imperial attitude of today’s Western international corporate actors are some of the elements that show a pattern of continuity between colonialism and today’s neo-liberal policy.
neoliberalism,rule of law,plunder,global law