Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Government, Cornell University
Rethinking Repression: Political Unions and Economic Development in South Asia

My dissertation examines how trade union protest affects economic development. My theory is that union protest strategies differ based on the extent of the institutionalized ties unions have with employers and the state. Unions with more formalized ties engage in less protest of a more routine kind, such as demonstrations and marches. Unions without such ties protest more, using one of two alternatives: a) violence or b) "weapons of the weak," such as skipping work. Routine forms of protest are generally better for development than violence and passive­aggressive behavior. Evidence for this theory will come from a study of four Indian states and Sri Lanka, which differ in the degree of institutionalized ties unions have with employers and the state. Most of the work in Sri Lanka has been completed. I am requesting a year of funding to conduct surveys and interviews in India.