Roundtable: Researching Law & (in)Equality

Law – ranging from constitutions and international human rights treaties, to anti-discriminations laws and tax regulations – are tools by which societies seek to address unwanted inequalities. But at the same time these and other forms of law create and reinforce social inequalities in multitudes of ways – and countries with ambitious pro-equality laws, are among the most unequal societies.

How can we investigate and establish the various ways in which law shapes the production of social equality and inequality? This roundtable brings together scholars who approach these questions from different angles and through different methods.

Siri Gloppen in conversation with Francesca Jensenius, Carl Henrik Knudsen, Lise Rakner and Theodoros Rakopoulos.

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Siri Gloppen is Director at the Centre of Law and Social
Transformation. Political scientist with a research focus in the intersection between law and politics. Siri Gloppen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen. With a research focus in the intersection between law and politics her work spans: legal mobilization and the role of courts in social transformation, democratization and institutionalization of accountability structures, constitution-making, election processes, human rights, transitional justice and reconciliation. Main empirical focus is southern and eastern Africa.

Francesca Refsum Jensenius is Senior Research Fellow at
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), specializing in comparative politics, comparative political economy and research methods, with a regional focus on South Asia and Latin America. Her main research interest is how electoral dynamics and institutional design affect different types of inequality in society. This she pursues through a multi-method approach, combining large-scale data collection and analysis with extensive field work. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California Berkeley (2013). Previously she studied political science and Hindi at Duke University, Delhi University and the University of Oslo.

Carl Henrik Knutsen (b. 26/03 1981) is Professor in
Political Science at the University of Oslo. Knutsen’s research concerns, for example, the economic effects of political institutions, democracy measurement, and the determinants of autocratic breakdown and democratization. His largest current research project involves collecting the Historical Varieties of Democracy dataset, and investigating the effects of different political institutions on economic growth and on redistributive policies. Knutsen’s research has been widely published, including in journals such as American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and World Politics.