Ron Levi

Director, Global Justice Lab
Distinguished Professor of Global Justice
Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for European and Eurasian Studies
Professor, Department of Sociology
Headshot of Ron Levi

Areas of interest

  • Comparative law
  • Law and globalization
  • International law
  • Critical legal theory
  • Law and society



Ron Levi is Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Department of Sociology, and is Distinguished Professor of Global Justice. He holds a courtesy cross-appointment to the Faculty of Law, and is a Permanent Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Ron works at the intersection of political sociology and the sociology of law. He studies two related questions: (1) responses to crime, violence, repression, and atrocities, through legal institutions, in collective memory, and across professional groups; and (2) how legal ideas are institutionally promoted across eras and political contexts, and how individuals and groups grapple with them. He directs the Global Justice Lab in the Munk School, which works with justice systems under stress.

In recent years, Ron has taught courses on events and turbulent times; police violence in global affairs; the sociology of atrocities; law, politics and globalization; justice measurement; and the sociology of law.

Ron has served as Secretary of the Law and Society Association, and as an elected Council Member for the Sociology of Law section of the American Sociological Association. He was made Chevalier in l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Government, is a recipient of the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize, and has served as Scholar-in-Residence for Holocaust Education Week. In 2022, he received the Global Educator Award from the University of Toronto.

Select publications

  • Sendroiu, Ioana, Ron Levi and John Hagan. 2022. “Legal Cynicism and System Avoidance: Roma Marginality in Central and Eastern Europe.” Social Forces 101:281-308.
  • Upenieks, Laura, Ioana Sendroiu, Ron Levi and John Hagan. 2022. “Beliefs about Legality and Benefits for Mental Health.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 63:266-282.
  • Levi, Ron, Ronit Dinovitzer and Wendy Wong. 2022. “Strategic Philanthropy and International Strategies: The Ford Foundation and Investments in Law Schools and Legal Education.” Pp. 79-122 in B. Garth and G. Shaffer, eds., The Globalization of Legal Education. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Levi, Ron, Holly Campeau and Todd Foglesong. 2022. “Recognition Gaps and Economies of Worth in Police Encounters.” American Journal of Cultural Sociology 10:87-109.
  • Campeau, Holly, Ron Levi and Todd Foglesong. 2021. “Policing, Recognition, and the Bind of Legal Cynicism.” Social Problems 68:658-674.
  • Levi, Ron, Ioana Sendroiu and John Hagan. 2020. “America First Populism, Social Volatility, and Self-Reported Arrests.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117:26703-26709.
  • Stein, Janice Gross and Ron Levi. 2020. “Testing Deterrence by Denial: Experimental Results from Criminology.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.doi: 10.1080/1057610X.2020.1777710
  • Levi, Ron, Todd Foglesong and Matt Torigian. 2020. “Community Safety and Repurposing the Police Before, During, and After a Pandemic: Methodological Notes.” Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being 5:75-78.
  • Levi, Ron and Ioana Sendroiu. 2020. “Performance, Power, and Transnational Legal Ordering:  Addressing Sexual Violence as a Human Rights Concern.” Pp. 333-368 in G. Shaffer and E. Aaronson, eds., The Transnational Legal Ordering of Criminal Justice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levi, Ron and Ioana Sendroiu. 2019. “Moral Claims and Redress after Atrocity: Economies of Worth across Political Cultures in the Holocaust Swiss Banks Litigation.” Poetics 73:45-60.
  • Campeau, Holly and Ron Levi. 2019. “Neoliberal Legality as Dual Process: Embeddedness, Courts and Crime Prevention in the United States.” British Journal of Criminology 59: 334–353.
  • Levi, Ron, Sara Dezalay and Michael Amiraslani. 2016. “Prosecutorial Practice and Strategic Statements: Justifying International Prosecutions from the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg through to the International Criminal Court.” Comparativ: Journal for Global History and Comparative Studies 26:58-73.
  • Levi, Ron, John Hagan and Sara Dezalay. 2016. “International Courts in Atypical Political Environments: The Interplay of Prosecutorial Strategy, Evidence, and Court Authority in International Criminal Law.” Law and Contemporary Problems 79:289-314.

Awards & recognition