Radhika Balakrishnan


PRESIDENT-ELECT, 2019-2020

Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ USA

Radhika Balakrishnan is faculty director at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and professor in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from Rutgers University. She is a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equity for the City of New York and the Co-Chair of the Civil Society Advisory Committee for the United Nations Development Program and on the Global Advisory Council to the United Nations Population Fund. Radhika is the co-author of Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: The radical potential of human rights with James Heintz and Diane Elson (Routledge, 2016). She is the co-editor with Diane Elson of Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account (Zed Books, 2011). She edited The Hidden Assembly Line: Gender Dynamics of Subcontracted Work in a Global Economy (Kumarian Press, 2001) and co-edited Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions, with Patricia Jung and Mary Hunt (Rutgers University Press, 2000)  as well as many numerous articles and book chapters. Her research and advocacy work has sought to change the lens through which macroeconomic policy is interpreted and critiqued by applying international human rights norms to assess macroeconomic policy. Her current book project tentatively titled “What is the Economy For?” will be based on an unorthodox methodology where the focus of the work will be garnered from people working on the ground across the globe. The overall objectives for this project are 1) to assessing the impact of economic policies and the implications for organizing; 2) to placing race, ethnicity, and gender at the core of the economic system drawing on the work done by feminist and other heterodox economist including her own work on human rights and economic policy; 3) to critically analyze the dominant economic narrative and offering alternatives based on input from local movement activists and positing a range of alternative economic theories better suited  to the issues that local activists are grappling with; and 4)  to link national and international perspectives and policies. 

My vision for IAFFE is to increase the visibility and practicality of the work of IAFFE members to policy makers and activists. Given the many hats I wear I will be able to connect IAFFE to many spaces in the policy and feminist activists world. I would make this a premise of the annual conference I would help oversee. I would also like to increase the outreach of IAFFE to younger scholars and scholars from the global South by working with the board to help with funding possibilities to expand membership and develop mentoring possibilities. I would  work with the board in the continuing the effort to make IAFFE more transparent and accountable to the membership and communicate with the membership to find ways for members to be active in IAFFE between the annual conferences.