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ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences


ESRC DTP Thematic Cluster: Inequality, equity, justice and economic growth


The inaugural Social Science and Law Interdisciplinary Conference (SSLIC) on Inequality and the Rule of Law will take place in Jesus College, Cambridge, on 2-3 March 2018.

The aim of SSLIC is to explore the interface between law and the social sciences. We are interested in theoretical debates concerning the nature of law as a social practice and economic institution; methodological debates concerning the mapping and analysis of empirical legal phenomena; and policy debates concerning the role of the legal system in shaping more equitable and sustainable societies.  The focus of the inaugural SSLIC conference will be inequality and the rule of law in the global north and the rising powers, particularly China.  The conference will cover subjects including: developments in the rule of law in China; innovations in law and economics that could improve understanding of inequality; the role of technology in causing (or preventing) inequality; inequality and public policy in Britain, with particular reference to Brexit; and the impact of financial and political power differentials on elections.  SSLIC’s inaugural conference is supported by Cambridge University’s ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for the Social Sciences, the Cambridge Public Policy Strategic Research Initiative ( and the Cambridge Centre for Business Research  We are grateful for funding from the Intellectual Forum and Cambridge University China Centre at Jesus College, Cambridge.

The programme will begin at 14.00 on Friday 2 March, and conclude at 15.30 on Saturday 3 March. The conference will take place in the Frankopan Hall of West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge (


Jacob Eisler (University of Cambridge)  Thinking like a lawyer in the midst of creative disruption

Samuli Sappinen (CUHK) Chinese legal development assistance: which rule of law? Whose pragmatism?

Ding Chen (University of Sheffield) Fintech in China: evolution, regulation and sustainability

Irit Samet (King’s College, London) Equity, finance, and the rule of law

Zoe Adams (University of Cambridge) Towards a realist law and economics

Ann Sofie Cloots (University of Cambridge) Company law: In search of a more data-driven and co-evolutionary model

Ewan McGaughey (King’s College, London) Will robots automate your job away? Full employment, basic income and economic democracy

Christopher Markou (University of Cambridge) Ubiquitous AI, smart cities and the right to privacy

James Davey (University of Southampton) Efficient breach and non-discrimination in the age of big data

Book launch: Sue Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue Davies (both Birkbeck, University of London) and Simon Deakin (University of Cambridge) Labour, finance and inequality: the insecurity cycle in British public policy; discussant, Graham Gudgin (University of Cambridge)

Panel on Electoral design: between personal freedom and political equality: Richard Briffault (Columbia University), Michael Kang (Emory University) and David Howarth (University of Cambridge)

For further information on the conference please contact Jacob Eisler ( or Simon Deakin ( For any questions relating to its organisation please email Rachel Wagstaff (

To register for the conference please send an email confirming your attendance to Rachel Wagstaff (   Please also indicate if you have any special dietary requirements.