Keywords: rule of law, democracy, state building, law, politics
The debate about the rule of law and the role it plays as driver of democratization processes is now fairly developed and diffused worldwide. Despite that, the concept is still contended and its semantic characterized by a byzantine complexity. Firstly and foremost, political scientists do not share a common conception of rule of law encompassing formal and substantial aspects of the «government based on rules rather than on men». This paper wants to encourage the development of a dialogue between law and politics, legal studies and political science, in order to investigate better and reach a deeper understanding of how and why under specific conditions governments ruled by rules - which are still made by men - represent favorable conditions to democratic processes and processes of state building. The readers are led through a vast literature, then provided with a proposal of a framework that covers both the conception of rule of law as pre-condition and as outcome of socio-political processes.