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Kirsten WidnerKirsten Widner

Assistant Professor

Phone: 865-974-7041

Professor Widner's Vita

Field of Study: Public Law and Judicial Politics


  • Ph.D. Emory University, 2020


Kirsten Widner is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Emory University (2020) and a JD from the University of San Diego (2007). In her law career, she represented children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and taught in the public policy and legislative advocacy clinics at Emory Law School. With her students and community partners, she successfully advocated for the passage of numerous improvements to Georgia’s laws in areas such as child abuse, human trafficking, and adoption.

Kirsten’s research focuses on how laws and policies that affect marginalized groups are made. She has a particular interest in the political representation of people without the right to vote – children, noncitizens, and people disenfranchised due to criminal convictions or mental incapacity. Her work has been published in political science journals and law reviews, including Political Research Quarterly, the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy, and the San Diego Law Review. Her forthcoming book with Beth Reingold and Kerry L. Haynie, Race, Gender, and Representation, will be published by Oxford University Press in November 2020.

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