The WJP’s Research & Scholarship work supports research about the meaning and measurement of the rule of law, and how it matters for economic, sociopolitical, and human development.

The core initiative of the program is the Rule of Law Research Consortium (RLRC), a community of leading researchers in a variety of fields—including law, economics, political science, sociology, international relations, and anthropology. The Consortium is harnessing diverse approaches and methods to produce research on the rule of law and recommendations on how to strengthen it. It is intended to become a repository of the best research on governance and the rule of law for scholars and policymakers worldwide.

The WJP’s Research & Scholarship program is co-chaired by Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago), Robert L. Nelson (Northwestern University, American Bar Foundation), and Alejandro Ponce (World Justice Project).


The WJP has produced two scholarly volumes published by Routledge Press, Global Perspectives on the Rule of Law, which examines the relationship between the rule of law and economic, political, and social development; and Marginalized Communities and Access to Justice, a series of comparative studies on how marginalized groups obtain access to justice. Authors include world renowned Nobel Laureates James Heckman and Amartya Sen, and Professor Yash Ghai, a constitutional and human rights scholar who previously served as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights in Cambodia.

The WJP and the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL) collaborated on a special edition of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law published in September 2011 devoted entirely to institutional indicators. Coordinating with leading researchers and developers of major institutional indicator projects in the fields of governance, corruption, and access to justice, the special issue concluded a two-year effort to advance the world's knowledge on measurement of the rule of law.

The WJP, in partnership with Morocco’s Mohamed V University, published papers in the University’s academic journal Horizons that discuss access to justice, exploring the political, social, economic, and cultural issues related to rights and justice in correspondence to the WJP’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Rule of Law Conference 2010. The purpose of these papers is to inform scholars, policymakers, civil society leaders, and other interested persons about the rule of law in the MENA region, and advance reforms. 

For a full archive of the WJP publications click here.