Autocratization is a global trend. The erosion of democracy and the rule of law is increasingly carried out through legal mechanisms affecting diverse policy fields such as abortion, climate change and minority rights. It challenges education and knowledge production through the politicization of factual information and science, defunding of universities, and restrictions in academic freedom. There is an acute need to better understand these complex and intertwined processes as they play out in different parts of the globe. Through the creation of a global network on autocratization dynamics, Autocratization Dynamics respond to this call by forging partnerships for research and education among world-leading research institutions.
Our cross-faculty UiB-team (Law, Social Sciences) are joined by 13 partners drawn from among the strongest education and research institutions in Brazil, Canada, India, Norway, South Africa and the USA and bring expertise on a range of other African, Latin American and Eastern-European countries. These partnerships will secure the advancement of research and education of the highest quality in Norway by (i) developing new interdisciplinary and cross-regional research projects enhancing our ability to understand the role of law in autocratization processes across the world and how these dynamics play out in key policy areas such as gender; sexuality and reproductive rights; child protection; climate- and environmental governance; indigenous rights to land and water; inequality and economic policy; vaccine scepticism and COVID-19 responses, and, (ii) develop innovative research-embedded education into these global challenges, with a focus on horizontality and student-led learning, based in student collaboration across disciplines, nations and institutions.
"Autocratization Dynamics" aims to further strengthen UiB-CMI LawTransform as a global hub for research at the intersection of law and politics, and as a leading centre for innovations in horizontal research-embedded education, by forging long-term partnerships with leading research and educational institutions in the field. With partner institutions drawn from among the strongest education and research institutions in Brazil, Canada, India, Norway South Africa and the United States, we aim to create new research on the effects of autocratization dynamics across the globe. The proposed collaboration will secure the advancement of research and education of the highest quality in Norway by developing new interdisciplinary research projects deepening our efforts to understand the role of law in authoritarian dynamics – both in the global south and in the north – and how this plays out in key policy areas. Through innovative research-embedded course developments and student-driven teaching modules Autocratization Dynamics will confront the challenging global environment of competing information streams and where factual information increasingly is politicized and the value of science and academic freedom undermined. To better understand the challenges posed by autocratization and how legal tools may be used to legitimize undemocratic politics, a key aim of all universities in our consortium is to educate students to become active and critical producers of knowledge. To do so, we aim to create a partnership between researchers and students where the students are in the driver's seat in the development of courses and research projects. LawTransform has significant experience facilitating horizontal exchange on research ideas between senior and junior scholars; building international, interdisciplinary partnerships on research projects, and cross-faculty and cross-institutional teaching, both face-to face and digital. The project will build on and further develop this.
INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research