Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Tanushree Goyal

CASI Non-Resident Visiting Scholar
Postdoctoral Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University
Research Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022

Tanushree Goyal is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University. She is also a Research Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Starting Fall 2022, she will join Princeton University as an Assistant Professor in Politics and International Affairs. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science in 2021 at the University of Oxford, where she was a member of Nuffield College.

Her research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics, gender and politics, and development. Her research sheds light on gender and caste gaps in political opportunity and investigates “how” descriptive representation alters access to political opportunity and development for marginalized groups. She is also interested in how cultural norms and persistence of economic or status inequality shapes gender inequalities. Her research is mainly set in India and she has collaborative projects in Ghana, Lebanon, and Brazil.

Her book project investigates female under-representation in electoral politics and its consequences on women's political participation using evidence from India and Brazil. She offers a novel theory about the representation of women in politics, arguing that women’s success as politicians is determined by their ability to generate lower-level grassroots activism among other women. Local female politicians can negotiate both family and party side barriers to women's entry into partisan roles. A strong grassroots female following is an attributable signal that increases women's political and electoral clout inside parties, while at the same time, it shields women politicians from male competition and political violence. She calls this female-led partisan mobilization of women "Representation from Below." Her book shows that women's collective action inside parties fundamentally alters party politics and democracy for good and is imminent to our understanding of representation.