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Measurement and indicators

Questions of evidence are at the heart of global justice debates and interventions. On what grounds do we base our claims about the nature, causes and consequences of global justice and injustice?

Forms of 'measurement' such as indicators are increasingly influential, whether in the area of human rights, health care, conflict resolution, immigration or climate change. Quantitative indicators seem to offer the promise of stable and reliable knowledge up on which to plan interventions and assess results. Yet, obtaining reliable data which can be 'quantified' is often not as simple as it seems. 

Reflections of bullets

Sometimes the 'good' to be measured - such as democracy - is also an essentially contested concept that is in a sense unmeasurable. Indicators can easily slip from being a guide to intervention, towards becoming the object of intervention itself. Conversely, qualitative forms of evidence can provide thick and meaningful descriptions, but they also run the risk of appearing partial, limited and partisan, and therefore potentially unpersuasive.

This Lab explores the practical, political and conceptual issues involved in producing evidence, measures and indicators around global justice issues. The lab works through holding round tables driven by particular research projects, or by bringing together projects that are examining these issues in very different disciplines. 

Dissemination of scientific knowledge as a policy instrument in climate policy (NORKLIMA)

This project sought to answer how scientific knowledge is to be presented in order to be useful for those making political decisions.

Learn more about NORKLIMA

The Documentation of Torture and Ill-Treatment

The Documentation of Torture and Ill-Treatment is a comparative analysis of the challenges faced by those attempting to document torture and ill-treatment in Low-Income Countries, focusing on Nepal, Bangladesh and Kenya.

Learn more about The Documentation of Torture and Ill-Treatment

From Paris to PISA

From Paris to PISA is a research project about the history of governing education with international comparisons, from the late 19th century World fairs to present international large scale assessments.

Learn more about From Paris to PISA

Political Settlements Research Programme

The Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) examines how political settlements come into being, how open and inclusive they are, and how internal and external actors shape them.

Learn more about the PSRP

Politics of Monitoring

The Politics of Monitoring project explores the determinants and effects of different monitoring practices across three policy areas: climage change, defence procurment and immigration policy.

Learn more aobut the Politics of Monitoring project

Seeing Illegal Immigrants: State Monitoring and Political Rationality

The Seeing Illegal Immigrants project explores how states 'see' illegal immigrants: who do they monitor, how, and what does this tell us about political rationality.

Learn more about 'Seeing Illegal Immigrants: State Monitoring and Political Rationality'