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Professor of the Practice of Law

Erik Jensen

Faculty Affiliate
King Center on Global Development

Professor of the Practice of Law
Stanford Law School

Director of Rule of Law Program
Stanford Law School

Erik Jensen holds joint appointments at Stanford Law School (SLS) and Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. He is professor of the practice, director of the rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School, an affiliated core faculty at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and senior advisor for governance and law at The Asia Foundation.

Jensen began his international career as a Fulbright Scholar. He has taught and practiced in the field of law and development for 30 years and has carried out fieldwork in 35 developing countries. He has led or advised research teams on governance and the rule of law at the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank. Among his numerous publications, Jensen co-edited with Thomas Heller Beyond Common Knowledge: Empirical Approaches to the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press: 2003). 

Jensen’s scholarship and fieldwork focuses on bridging theory and practice, and examines connections between law, economy, politics and society. At Stanford, he teaches courses related to state building, development, and the rule of law. In recent years, he has committed considerable effort as faculty director to building out law degree-granting programs at the American University of Afghanistan and at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani. He is the faculty director of projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bhutan, and Timor Leste. He is co-leading a research project funded by the Global Development and Poverty Fund at FSI on “The Rule of Non-Law” that examines the use of various work-arounds to the formal legal system by economic actors in developing countries.