mallika j. balakrishnan

I am a postgraduate student and 2019 Marshall Scholar studying Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews and University of Stirling. I’m interested in human rights in Latin America and community-driven change around the world.

currently thinking about...

  • I am interested in the philosophy of human rights and public policy, and I'm currently writing my dissertation on human rights, power, and the global South. By understanding gaps in human rights practice, I hope to engage in better advocacy and direct action. My previous work has focused on asylum seekers to the United States, the gendered dimensions of migration, and detention. I have also conducted advocacy and research on climate change and indigenous land defense, reproductive justice, and labor/welfare practices, especially in the Northern Triangle and Southern Cone.

  • My undergraduate thesis focused on the ways that the language of democracy and democratic peace impacted the international community during the Falklands/Malvinas War and reconciliation theory more broadly. I am invested in understanding how international advocacy for democracy and human rights impacts transitional justice and economic development, especially in the postcolonial global South.

  • I'm increasingly interested in interdisciplinary exploration of artificial intelligence, especially related to the social and political implications that AI and other technology has for migration, borders, and policing practices. I'm especially drawn to conversations about the role of AI in existing hierarchies of political power, as well as strategic work on corporate and governmental accountability with an eye towards human rights implications.

About me

I am a philosophy postgraduate student and 2019 Marshall Scholar focused on human rights in Latin America and community-driven change around the world. Originally from Atlanta, I’m now based in St. Andrews, Scotland, studying for a Master of Letters in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy. My current academic work focuses on the philosophy of human rights, though I hold broad interests within the discipline. I graduated from Agnes Scott College with double majors in Political Science and Philosophy in May 2019, earning a B.A. with highest honors. In the future, I hope to contribute to global justice work in Latin America and the Caribbean, building on my previous experiences with organizations like CARE USA, Amnesty International USA, and the Roosevelt Institute. Currently, I'm an organizer with No Tech for Tyrants, a UK-based migrant justice group. When I'm not doing philosophy, I'm usually playing cello with local bands, reading poems, or hiking. I also enjoy learning more about topics from postcolonial literature and gender theory to linguistic pragmatics, mathematics, and typography—and I firmly believe that interdisciplinary exploration helps inform better engagement with my local and global communities.

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