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 liberal democracies must negotiate or choose between culture and women's rights. Instead, through a comparison of policy debates over issues like polygamy and the face veil, I explain how political actors create a variety of relationships between culture and women’s rights in pursuit of their their policy agenda. This means that liberal democracies are not faced with an inevitable conflict between two competing sets of rights but instead can choose to pursue conflict, or not.
My first book, Women’s Rights in Democratizing States (Cambridge University Press, 2010), investigates women's political and civic participation in Poland, Chile and South Africa during the transition to democracy. It explains how and why democratic institutions like political parties 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.