Denise Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Politics and Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia, and a founding co-director of the Power, Violence and Inequality Collective at UVA. Her research investigates how liberal democracies can become more inclusive and just. Walsh's current book manuscript, The Politics of Culture and Women's Rights in Liberal Democracies, examines polygyny in South Africa, the expulsion of indigenous women from the tribe for marrying non-native men in Canada, and the face veil ban in France. She also is a co-founder of The Backlash Project, which investigates opposition to gender justice.
Walsh's first book, Women’s Rights in Democratizing States (Cambridge University Press, 2010) finds that institutions like political parties and social movements often obstructed advances in women’s rights during transitions to democracy in South Africa, Poland and Chile. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, USAID, the Instituted for Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Italy, the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, and many organizations at the University of Virginia.