mallika j. balakrishnan

I’m a researcher and organizer interested in human rights, Latin America, and global justice. As a 2019 Marshall Scholar, I am a postgraduate student currently based at the Cambridge Centre of Latin American Studies.

I work on questions of...

  • I like addressing gaps in human rights paradigms. My goal is to incorporate structural, power-based analyses into the better futures we imagine. Last year, I wrote my MLitt dissertation on the philosophy of human rights and avoiding neo-imperialism. My previous academic work related to Latin America has focused on labor/welfare in the Southern Cone and Latin America’s relationship with China. I’ve done research and advocacy work on the gendered dimensions of migration, immigrant detention practices, and the right to asylum, as well as indigenous land defense and reproductive justice.

  • My undergraduate thesis focused on the the impact of democratic peace theory on transitional justice through the lens of the Falklands/Malvinas War. I continue to be invested in how human rights & democracy promotion impact development and governance, especially in postcolonial contexts. I’ve explored this through international law, legal philosophy, and political theory. I'm interested in thinking about democracy in terms of participatory and prefigurative movements.

  • As an organizer, I research and campaign around the social and political implications of technology. I’m especially interested in bringing questions of justice to the intersection of tech, migration, and policing— as well as strategic work on corporate and governmental accountability, with an eye towards human rights implications.

About me

I care about community-centered change and justice everywhere. Originally from Atlanta, I'm currently based in Cambridge, England. Here, I’m a Marshall Scholar and MPhil candidate in Latin American Studies. I have a Master of Letters in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy from the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling, and a double BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Agnes Scott College. I organize with No Tech For Tyrants, a UK-based migrant/tech justice group, and I am part of a student research team at the Cambridge Centre of Governance & Human Rights. After earning my MPhil, I hope to continue contributing to human rights research and advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean, building on my previous experiences with organizations like CARE USA, Amnesty International USA, and the Roosevelt Institute. When I'm not doing philosophy or political work, I'm usually playing cello with local bands, performing poems, hiking, or exploring the interdisciplinary.

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Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to work together (or just say hello). You can connect with me via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn.