I am an Associate Professor of Politics and Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia. My research focuses on how liberal democracies can become more inclusive and just. My current book project, When Rights Go Wrong: Multiculturalism Versus Women's Rights, challenges the assumption that conflicts between multiculturalism and women's rights are inevitable. By investigating polygamy in South Africa, native women's expulsion from their tribe in Canada and the face veil ban in France, I am finding that liberal democratic politicians manufacture conflicts between multiculturalism and women's rights for their own benefit, and that contrary to common belief, multiculturalism and women's rights can be mutually reinforcing.
My first book, Women’s Rights in Democratizing States (Cambridge University Press, 2010), compares Chile, Poland and South African and finds that democratic institutions like political parties, legislatures, and social movements often obstruct advances in women’s rights. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, USAID, the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Italy, the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, and many organizations at the University of Virginia.