Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 April 2021
This chapter charts what we know about intermediaries across settings and times in history, to provide a comparative perspective on their being within fields of development that broadly relate to interventions of law, regulation, rule of law, justice, and institutions. It focuses on the concept of the intermediary as an analytical means of identifying the social nodes in transnational networks of relative positions and power. It highlights the role that intermediaries play and the challenges they face, at the interfaces of different knowledge and value systems that appear as the development industry intervenes across the globe. It uses an inductive approach, which was key for locating individuals who played an intermediary role in Myanmar’s rule of law assistance field across several institutional positions: local lawyers; local NGOs; locally employed staff of international organisations; government employees; and international consultants. Despite their different roles and assignments, they all had in common having to perform the delicate task of relating larger, globally oriented ideas to the Myanmar locale, in a key middle position between foreign, national and local actors.