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 philosophical approaches to public policy. By understanding gaps in the human rights paradigm, I hope to engage in better advocacy and direct action. My previous advocacy and research has focused on rights violations of asylum seekers to the United States, intersections of climate change and indigenous land defense, reproductive justice in Central America and the Southern Cone, and labor/welfare practices in the 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 reconciliation and economic development, especially in the postcolonial global South.

  • Through academic and organizing work, I am engaging in interdisciplinary exploration of artificial intelligence, especially related to the social and political implications that AI technology use can have on migration, borders, and policing. I'm especially drawn to conversations about the intersection of AI with 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 working, I'm usually playing cello with local bands, boxing, or hiking. I also enjoy learning more about topics from postcolonial literature and linguistic pragmatics to sustainable development, mathematics, and typography—and I firmly believe that interdisciplinary exploration helps inform better engagement with my local and global communities.

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