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Bernadette Atuahene

Bernadette Atuahene headshot

Research Professor

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  • Chicago, IL 60611
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Joint appointment

Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law


J.D., Yale Law School; M.P.A., Harvard University; B.A. University of California, Los Angeles


Bernadette Atuahene is a professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2002, her M.P.A. from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2002, and her B.A. in 1997 (magna cum laude) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor…

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Research focus

Law and international development, particularly the dispossession and restitution of property rights in the developing world. Research has examined the challenges faced by transitional democracies that provide compensation for past property dispossession, as well as how land titling programs can best address urban poverty.


Conceptualizing Property Takings

Using the concept of a “dignity taking,” linking the unconsented taking of property rights with the deprivation of dignity, this research project seeks to further understand the…

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Stategraft: A Pernicious Form of Corruption Unveiled (forthcoming 2019)
Stategraft: Property Tax Injustice in Detroit Brings to Light a Pernicious Form of Corruption in America and Abroad (forthcoming 2019)
"Taxed Out: Illegal Property Tax Assessments and the Epidemic of Tax Foreclosures in Detroit" (forthcoming 2019)
UC Irvine Law Review

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Detroit's Tax Foreclosures Indefensible

Sep 6, 2018

In this September 2017 , Atuahene discusses the property tax foreclosure crisis in Detroit.

Detroit's Homeowners Deserve Better

Sep 6, 2018

In a January 2017 op-ed in The Detroit News, Atuahene discusses how the city of Detroit has been assessing the majority of its homes at rates that violated the state of Michigan's constitution…

Don't Let Detroit's Revival Rest on an Injustice

Sep 6, 2018

In a July 2017 NY Times op-ed, Atuahene discusses the high rates of property tax foreclosures in Detroit, Michigan and how they are the result of illegal property tax assessments and inflated…

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We Want What's Ours: Learning from South Africa's Land Restitution Program
Jan 2014
Speaker, Workshop on Poverty, Immigration and Property
Jun 2013
Property-Induced Invisibility: When the Expropriation of Property Removes People from the Social Contract
Oct 2012

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Professional Service & Recognition

  • Associate Editor, Law & Social Inquiry

  • Trustee, Law & Society Association

  • Fellow, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University

  • Fellow, Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership

  • Editor, SSRN Transitional Justice eJournal

  • International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

  • Adviser to Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins on the legal challenge to the Illinois Act to End Atrocities and Terrorism in Sudan

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