My dissertation investigates the impact of institutional change in the field of poverty alleviation on the strategies pursued by political parties in rural India. I focus specifically on the Right to Work Legislation that has been enforced in India since 2005, and its translation into public policy, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or NREGS. My field work has led me to explore the distortions to policy implementation, given specific blueprints and incentives, and what these distortions tell us about the way political entrepreneurs attempt to capture public resources for political benefit. My broader research interests include the political economy of development, institutions, political parties, ethnicity and the politics of foreign aid.
My Ph.D. research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Graduate School and the Government Department at Cornell University. I also have experience working in post-conflict and post-disaster environments, with a focus on political transitions.
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