A Multifaceted Examination of the Application of Ethnoracial Law in Contemporary Multicultural Ecuador Grant

A Multifaceted Examination of the Application of Ethnoracial Law in Contemporary Multicultural Ecuador .


  • This study aims to develop research models to comparatively analyze the effectiveness of anti-discrimination laws, with a specific focus on the justice and legal educational systems within which those laws are developed. The project advances sociolegal, sociological, and legal anthropological understandings of the impact of protective legal frameworks on society. The project provides funding for the training of one graduate student in methods of empirical, scientific data collection and analysis, and broadens the participation of underrepresented groups in scientific research. Project data and findings would be disseminated to improve the public's understanding of science and the scientific method, which would include the creation of a workshop for K-12 teachers, and the development of specific course modules for university and law school students.

    The researchers plan to explore how anti-discrimination laws have been developed and applied and understood within the justice and legal educational systems. The project examine the application of two categories of legal instruments: articles of constitutions and special laws that recognize and protect identity-based collective rights over resources and cultural practices; and constitutional articles and special laws that have for objective to protect against discrimination. The research takes place in a juridical context where these laws are institutionalized, and incorporated into legal curricula. The project asks how laws are designed and adopted; how they are applied in the practice of the justice system; what obstacles prevent their successful application; and more generally whether these laws have been effective. The project combines sociolegal archival, ethnographic observational research methods in law schools, and interviews with plaintiffs, lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges. This project will assess qualitatively and quantitatively the level of knowledge the justice system operators have about such laws; compile a detailed list of all relevant litigations; collect the cases' archives; and interview the social actors and justice system operators involved. The project makes critical contributions to legal anthropology and sociolegal studies through an analysis of how knowledge about longstanding legal protections designed to mitigate the impacts of discrimination are produced and circulated.

    This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

date/time interval

  • August 1, 2021 - July 31, 2024

sponsor award ID

  • 2124564