Law and development, as both movement and practice, has led a tumultuous life: a hurried zenith cut short by a fatal critique followed by an opportunistic resurrection. The name alone is su?cient to trigger a range of reactions, extending from the complimentary to the condemnatory. In this article I track law and development’s evolution via an examination of its role in the remodelling of Egyptian society in the post-Nasser era. While the 2011 revolution has encouraged institutions such as USAID to hasten their legal reform e?orts, I argue that these are more akin to counter-revolution by ideology than genuine revolution by law. Nevertheless, rather than relegate the movement to the annals of imperial intrigue, I conclude by proposing the use of legal pluralism to revive, and possibly ignite, law and development’s emancipatory potential.