Roundtable: Gender and Political Economy
Join us for a virtual roundtable on “Gender and Political Economy” on Thursday, April 21st, 12-1 pm
Rachel Brule, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy,
Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Assistant Professor of Law,
University of California Irvine School of Law
Moderated by Abe Newman, Mortara Center, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
About the Speakers
Dr. Rachel Brule is an Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and Core Faculty of the Global Development Policy Center’s Human Capital Initiative. Her research interests are broadly in comparative politics, international development, political economy, and gender, with a geographical focus on South Asia. Specifically, she studies the relationship between political representation and inequality in social and economic domains across democratic and hybrid political regimes. Her book, Women’s Representation and Resistance (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) shows that women’s political representation catalyzes effective claims to fundamental economic rights, in particular land inheritance. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in India, Africa, and the Middle East, and her current research leverages a combination of randomized controlled trials, survey experiments, and natural quasi-experiments to improve causal inference about when quotas effectively redistribute power and improve policy and economic outcomes for socially stigmatized groups across India, what enables women’s substantive political engagement and empowerment in hybrid regimes such as Nepal, and how the nature of inequality alters support for local and global protection of citizens’ economic and environmental welfare across developing countries.
Dr. Swethaa Ballakrishnen is a socio-legal scholar whose research examines the intersections between law, globalization, and stratification from a critical feminist perspective. Particularly, across a range of sites and different levels of analysis, their work interrogates how law and legal institutions create, continue, and counter different kinds of socio-economic inequalities. Together, these motivations have resulted in three main areas of empirical inquiry. The first is a set of interrelated projects that analyze gender inequality and representation through the lens of comparative legal institutions. The second concentrates on inclusivity in global legal education and the resultant implications for organizational diversity within the legal profession. A third emerging field of interest focuses on transnational migration and its implications for intergenerational mobility, international human rights, and transnational family law. Their first book, Accidental Feminism (Princeton University Press: 2021), unpacks the case of unintentional gender parity among India’s elite legal professionals; a second book Invisible Institutions (Hart Publishing: 2021, ed. with Sara Dezalay) brings together cross-subjective perspectives on legal globalization; and a third forthcoming book Gender Regimes and the Politics of Privacy (Zubaan Books, with Kalpana Kannabiran) investigates the gendered legacies of India’s privacy jurisprudence.