mallika j. balakrishnan

Hi! I’m a graduate student and Marshall Scholar studying Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. I’m interested in human rights advocacy 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 the stories of Central American refugees and asylum seekers to the United States, the intersections of climate change and indigenous land defenders, 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 currently interested in better 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 increasingly interested 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 graduate student interested in human rights, Latin American politics, and sustainable change. Originally from Atlanta, I’m now working towards the MLitt in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, as a 2019 Marshall Scholar. I graduated from Agnes Scott College with highest honors in May 2019, earning a BA in Philosophy and Political Science. In the future, I hope to contribute to social justice and public policy 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 a better mode of interacting with my local and global communities.

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