I hold a joint appointment in Gender & Women's Studies and Political Science.
My research focuses on the politics of gender and race in the Latin American region.
Much of my research has focused on social policy in Latin America including the historical formation of social policy;
the politics and effects of market-oriented social policy reforms following structural adjustment in the 1990s and 2000s;
and the recent shift toward more generous and equitable social policies in the last decade.
My main interest has been the health sector, and my contribution has been to bring to light the roles of gender and race in each of these stages of policy change.
My research has answered questions such as: How have the historical and contemporary political processes of social policy formation and reform been gendered and racialized?
What roles have international institutions, social movements (including feminist movements) and national policy machineries played in policy reform processes and how have they shaped the resulting health systems?
What effects have specific kinds of reforms had on gender, race, class and age equity?
In my book, Second-Wave Neoliberalism: Gender, Race and Health Sector Reform in Peru (Penn State University Press, 2010), I evaluate the politics of "second-wave" neoliberal health reforms (the social policy reforms which followed economic adjustment) and their effects on gender and racial equity in Peru. The book won the Flora Tristán Award for the best book on Peru, 2010-12, from the Peru Section of the Latin American Studies Association.
My current research focuses on gender, indigeneity and democratic inclusion in the Andes. This research investigates whether the rise of women and indigenous peoples into political office in Latin America has made a difference for the kinds of policy that is produced, or if other factors are more important for transforming poltical agendas to represent these groups. I pay close attention to the intersections between these groups and the role of indigenous women, as well. This project compares Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. My research has been supported by a number sources, including a Fulbright New Century Scholars award, a Rockfeller Residential fellowship, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.