Rachel Brule

Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy

Rachel Brulé is an Assistant Professor in Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and Core Faculty of the Human Capital Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center. She is the author of Women, Power, and Property: The Paradox of Gender Equality Laws in India, published with Cambridge University Press in 2020, winner of the American Political Science Association’s 2021 Luebbert Prize for the Best Book in Comparative Politics. Her research combines experimental methods with innovative theory building and in-depth qualitative work to identify the causal impact of changes in institutions on the ability of women and members of other traditionally-marginalized groups to engage the state and to advance individual and collective agendas for transformative change. Her work is centered in South Asia with additional projects in sub-Saharan Africa and North America. Before joining BU, Rachel was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at New York University, based in Abu Dhabi and affiliated in New York.

Her articles are published or forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Development Economics, and the Annual Review of Political Science, among others. Her co-authored work with Nikhar Gaikwad (“Culture, Capital & the Gender Gap in Political Economy Preferences”) was awarded the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for Best Paper Overall and Kellogg Notre Dame Award for Best Paper in Comparative Politics presented at the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual 2017 meeting.

Brulé is a Truman Scholar (2002, NY) and a Marshall Scholar, and has worked to develop, implement, and analyze randomized control trials on the impact of economic rights and resources in collaboration with MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Bharat, the Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty in Andhra Pradesh, India, and the World Bank. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and African Studies, Summa Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College, a M.Sc. in Forced Migration from Oxford University, a M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University.

Professor Brule’s areas of expertise include comparative politics, international development, political economy, gender, representation, inequality, and South Asia.


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