Writing in the current issue of the Harvard Human Rights Journal, Open Society Justice Initiative executive director James A. Goldston looks at the impact of the war on terror on the effort to establish and consolidate the rule of law worldwide. In his brief essay "Reflections on Twenty Years in Human Rights: The Rule of Law Movement in the Age of Terror," Goldston charts the movement's progress in the 20th century and the challenges it faces post-9/11. According to Goldston, these challenges include:
- Compensating for the loss of U.S. prestige as a leading, if imperfect, force for human rights worldwide;
- Responding to globalization's compression of time and space in ways that promote the rule of law; and
- Avoiding becoming so preoccupied with terrorism and counterterrorism as to overlook other problems that may affect more people more often.
In spite of the difficulties currently confronting the rule of law movement, Goldston finds cause for measured optimism in the history of prior engagement with terrorist violence; the talent, depth, and policy reach of rule of law advocates and institutions; and the rule of law's ethical underpinnings in a commitment to human dignity.