RLRCPolicymakers from East LA to West Africa struggle to implement policies to reduce violence and improve the rule of law, and often lack the time to review the available scholarship—which often comes up short in addressing the practical and political issues they confront on a daily basis.

Given this context and a desire to move the field forward, the World Justice Project, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Stanford University brought together 40 leading scholars, practitioners, and policymakers in government last week in Washington D.C. to participate in Reducing Violence and Improving the Rule of Law: Organized Crime, Marginalized Communities, and the Political Machine. This invitation-only workshop targeted three spheres: reducing violence from political parties and elections, reducing violence by gangs, youth and the state in marginalized communities, and reducing violence from organized crime.

Alejandro Ponce (Chief Research Officer of the World Justice Project), Rachel Kleinfeld (Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Beatriz Magaloni (Professor at Stanford University) lead the expert group in discussions aimed at defining the policy-relevant knowledge in each of these spheres and creating a policy-relevant research agenda. The group focused on risk factors and policy interventions with the goal of producing useful insights for donors, policy-makers, and practitioners working to fight violence globally.

Discussion time was devoted to the role of Electoral Commissions, the importance of their neutrality, and the difficulties of implementing such delegations when democratic institutions are weak. Participants elaborated on how Electoral Commissions must also be supported by substantial policing methods to eliminate violence during the election season. Other conversations focused on approaching the problem of criminal organizations—whether policies should target violence or encourage dismantlement—and debate on appropriate methods for implementing drug policies that fall along the spectrum between prohibition and legalization.

Dialogue on good governance, social economy, and security revealed the need for substantial academic evaluation of these factors in order to create positive solutions for targeting violence. Significant time was also dedicated to the potential lessons that could be learned if Latin America is indeed a window into the future for Africa and Asia, given that the continued urbanization of these countries will increase the challenges of fighting violence long-term.

Prior to the conference, the World Justice Project produced a preliminary literature review to highlight specific policy interventions against risk factors that predisposed communities towards gangs, organized crime, and electoral violence. This review served as a starting point from which the workshops’ participants began several of the discussions that have been emphasized above. With the help of its participants, this review will now be revised in order to contribute to the efforts of implementing policies to reduce violence and improve the rule of law. Video interviews with several experts at the event will also be posted online in the coming weeks—check back to our website for continuing updates and future scholarship.

 

Photos courtesy: The World Justice Project

WJP Staff
title bar

Read More

title bar

In recent years equal rights and non-discrimination protections have weakened, putting at-risk groups in danger of further erasure and marginalization. The 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index points to a rise in discrimination during the pandemic, with 70% of countries and jurisdictions having declined in equal treatment and absence of discrimination. Vulnerable groups already exposed to systemic inequality—such as the LGBTQI+ community, children with disabilities, women, and ethnic and racial minorities—were further marginalized during the crisis, and continue to be left out of solutions to “build back better.” At the World Justice Forum 2022, equal rights leaders, activists, and academics came together to discuss the increasing challenges these groups face, as well as promising solutions to address them.

Read More

Every year, the WJP Rule of Law Index takes a detailed look at adherence to rule of law principles around the world. This year’s Index covers 140 countries and jurisdictions and contains data on eight factors that make up the rule of law, including fundamental rights, absence of corruption, and criminal justice.   Insights from the 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index show that adherence to rule of law fell in 61% of countries this year. Globally, this means that 4.4 billion people live in countries where rule of law has declined over the past year.   Rule of law impacts our rights, our safety, our well-being, and our access to justice. The WJP Rule of Law Index provides original data annually on people’s experiences with and perceptions of rule of law in 140 countries and jurisdictions around the world, making the Index a valuable resource for policymakers, business leaders, and advocates. 

Read More

WASHINGTON (Oct. 26, 2022) – For the fifth year in a row, the rule of law has declined globally, according to the 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®. The World Justice Project’s analysis of in-depth survey data in 140 countries and jurisdictions shows that adherence to the rule of law fell in 61% of countries this year.

Read More