2016 march to the U.S. Capitol in protest of police shootings.  Credit: Joseph Gruber
2016 march to the U.S. Capitol in protest of police shootings. Credit: Joseph Gruber

Rule of Law Research Consortium 2022 Workshop:
Data Insights on Rule of Law in the United States

Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
November 11-13, 2022

Call for Workshop Paper Proposals

The United States is facing significant and growing rule of law challenges. Diverse datasets capturing various dimensions of the rule of law reflect mounting concerns about democratic accountability, trust in electoral processes, contested rights of free expression and assembly, and systemic inequities in the U.S. justice system, among other issues, These trends raise questions about the quality of governance in the United States and, given the leadership role of the United States globally, they have implications for respect for the rule of law around the world as well.

New data and related advanced analytical and machine learning methodologies hold great promise for improving understanding of these current U.S. rule of law trends and identifying reform needs and opportunities. As part of a new multi-year initiative focused on rule of law in the United States, the World Justice Project (WJP), together with the Wright Center for the Study of Computation and Justice Communities at Dartmouth College and Bright Line Watch, plans a two-day workshop for discussion of works-in-progress generating data insights on contemporary U.S. rule of law issues. The workshop will take place November 11-13, 2022, at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Travel stipends will be available to support participation by those selected to present papers at the workshop.

Paper Proposals Sought

WJP, the Wright Center, and Bright Line Watch seek proposals for works-in-process to be presented at the workshop. We encourage papers related to the trajectory of the rule of law in the United States and its relationship with ongoing concerns about the risks to democracy in the United States and around the world. Specific examples might include studies of courts, prosecutors and other legal institutions, access to justice, racial disparities in the legal system, electoral integrity, media coverage of legal issues, academic integrity and trust in institutions generally. We encourage papers using multidisciplinary and novel research methods, including but not limited to computational methods, corpus linguistics, synthetic cases, and other techniques. We also encourage papers exploring new sources of data on any of the above topics.

Student Participation

Students as well as established scholars are encouraged to make submissions. A dedicated session will be devoted to discussion of student papers, and the workshop organizers will award a prize for the best student paper received.

Access to Data

Bright Line Watch survey data are publicly available. Scholars interested in preparing a paper based on an analysis of the WJP U.S. Rule of Law Index data may receive access to Individual-level data from the general population polls conducted in the United States in the last 5 years or question-level data from the WJP Rule of Law Index, subject to confidentiality constraints. Those interested in this access should so indicate in their proposal.

Publication Opportunity

We are in discussions about publication of workshop papers in a special symposium issue of a leading interdisciplinary journal, and we anticipate that such publication will be available to scholars whose work is accepted.

Application and Deadlines

Scholars interested in being considered for workshop participation should submit an abstract of up to 500 words with a CV no later than June 1, 2022, to [email protected]. Those accepted for the workshop will be notified by June 30, 2022. Draft papers will be expected to be circulated by October 15, 2022.

The deadline for students applying for participation in the student session and the student prize competition is September 1, 2022.

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