I have two main research (and teaching) areas: Comparative Judicial Politics (Latin America) and Gender and Politics. My scholarship is thus closely tied to my teaching. Comparative Judicial Politics is my primary area of research interest and expertise. My research examines the political role of the judiciary in new and consolidating democracies. My second main research area addresses questions raised by scholars in the growing field of Gender and Politics, which examines politics through a lens of gender hierarchy. My research in this area focuses narrowly on gender and law, and more specifically on how gender is treated in national constitutions. This research agenda grew out of two of my courses, Women and Politics and Comparative Law and Constitutionalism, and has developed collaboratively with Priscilla A. Lambert at Western Michigan University. Our Gender and Constitutions project has led to publications in Politics & Gender, Comparative Politics, and a National Science Foundation collaborative research grant.
My current research agenda is divided between continued work on the Gender and Constitutions Project and several additional projects. One of these, with Dr. Slagter, compares the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a highly-developed regional system for rights adjudication, with the slightly less-developed Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACRH) and examines the circumstances under which regional court decisions have become a political tool for politicians and other political or social actors. Another project explores the conditions under which trans-national women's rights advocates choose these kinds of courts as a venue for pursuing international litigation. Finally, also with Dr. Slagter, I am working on a 'Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)' research project concerning methods of classroom discussion.