The core initiative of WJP's scholarship 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). 

Read about our latest conferences here.


December 2-4, 2022 | Dartmouth College
WJP and the Bright Line Watch research group collaborated wtih Dartmouth's Wright Center for the Study of Computation and Just Societies to convene scholars, legal experts and officials, students, journalists and leaders in civic organizations to consider threats to democracy and the rule of law in the United States. Read more about the conference.

Oct. 26-27, 2018 | Duke Law School
The 2018 WJP Scholars Conference was organized by the Rule of Law Research Consortium of the World Justice Project and hosted by Duke University. The event focused on the theme of "The Rule of Law: Subnational, Supranational, and Empirical." Explore the agenda.

May 6-7, 2016 | Stanford Law School
The themes of the 2016 conference were organized around four components: an examination of the origins of the rule of law; a look at the “rule of non-law” for development and security in poor countries today; a discussion of the issues of non-state armed actors, vigilantism, and violence; and finally, a discussion of measuring and analyzing the rule of law. Watch the presentations.

October 31-November 1, 2014 | University of Chicago Law School
The inaugural conference of the Rule of Law Research Consortium was organized around three main themes: conceptual issues around the concept of the rule of law; efforts to measure the rule of law—including the new World Justice Project Index—and empirical work that uses the measures; and practical issues related to rule of law implementation, including the relationship of theory to practice.​​​​​ Explore the panel discussions.

Rule of Law Research Consortium (RLRC) Members

Maurice Adams Law Tilburg University
Benito Arrunada Business University Pompeu Fabra
Tim Besley Economics London School of Economics
Nehal Bhuta Law European University Institute
Juan Carlos Botero Law Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Rosa Brooks Law Georgetown University
Thomas Carothers Law Carnegie Endowment
Nick Cheesman Political Science Australian National University
Yun-Chien Chang Law Academica Sinica
Albert Chen Law Hong Kong University
Adam Chilton Law University of Chicago
Mariano-Florentino Cuellar Law Stanford University
Kevin Davis Law New York University
Larry Diamond Political Science Stanford University
Brad Epperly Political Science University of South Carolina
Julio Faundez Law University of Warwick
Julio Rios Figueroa Political Science Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
Bryant Garth Law University of California- Irvine
James Gathii Law Loyola University Chicago
Tom Ginsburg, Co-Chair Law/Political Science University of Chicago
Jon Gould Law American University
Gillian Hadfield Law University of Southern California
John Hagan Sociology Northwestern University
Gretchen Helmke Political Science University of Rochester
Susan Hirsch Anthropology George Mason University
Aziz Huq Law University of Chicago
Erik Jensen Law Stanford University
Hamid Khan Law George Washington University
Rachel Kleinfeld International Relations Carnegie Endowment
Jack Knight Law/Political Science Duke University
Timur Kuran Economics/Political Science Duke University
Margaret Levi Political Science Stanford University
Katerina Linos Law University of California-Berkeley
Beatriz Magaloni Political Science Stanford University
Jenny Martinez Law Stanford University
Daniel Mejia Economics University of Los Andes
James Melton Political Science University College London
Cian Murphy Law University of Bristol
Smoki Musaraj Anthropology University of California-Irvine
Robert Nelson, Co-Chair Sociology/Law Northwestern University
Eric Neumayer Environment/Development London School of Economics
Randy Peerenboom Law La Trobe University
Aparna Polavarapu Law University of South Carolina
Alejandro Ponce, Co-Chair Economics World Justice Project
Jothie Rajah Law American Bar Foundation
Anita Ramasastry Law University of Washington
Bo Rothstein Political Science University of Gothenburg 
Joel Samuels Law University of South Carolina
Kim Lane Scheppele Law/Sociology Princeton University
David Shirk Political Science University of San Diego
Andrei Shleifer Economics Harvard University
Svend-Erik Skaaning Political Science Aarhaus University
Gordon Smith Law University of South Carolina
Kellye Testy Law University of Washington
Francesco Trebbi Economics University of British Columbia
Renata Uitz Law Central European University
Thierry Verdier Economics Paris School of Economics
Mila Versteeg Law University of Virginia
Stefan Voigt Economics University of Hamburg
Barry Weingast Political Science Stanford University
Bruce Western Sociology Harvard University
Jennifer Widner Political Science Princeton University
Michael Woolcock Sociology World Bank
Qianfan Zhang Law Peking University
Peer Zumbansen Law King's College