Assistant professor of political science at the New School University, Mala Htun’s research centers on Latin American politics, gender and politics, and women and leadership. She is the author of Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce, and the Family under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, and several articles and book chapters on women and politics and public policy in Latin America.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Htun will study the politics of group representation in Latin America. In the 1990s, twelve Latin American countries adopted national laws establishing a minimum level for women’s participation in political office. Yet only a few countries introduced measures to incorporate non-white ethnic groups into the political process. Why did women, but not Afro-Latins and indigenous peoples, get group representation in politics? Htun’s project will compare the causes and consequences of group demands for political representation and explore how the greater representation of traditionally excluded groups has changed democratic practice.
Htun holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University and an AB from Stanford University. She received a prize for the best dissertation on women and politics from the American Political Science Association in 2000 and was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow, a dissertation fellow of the National Security Education Program, and a dissertation fellow of the Social Science Research Council. She is advisor to the Women’s Leadership Conference of the Americas at the Inter-American Dialogue and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.