Rachel Brule

Rachel Brule, Assistant Professor of Political Science,NYUAD

Assistant Professor of Political Science Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Email: rachel.brule@nyu.edu
Education: PhD Standford University; MSc London School of Economics; MSc Oxford University

Research Areas: comparative politics; political economy; gender; formal and informal institutions; South Asia


Rachel Brulé is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi, where she is a tenure-track faculty member of the Social Science Division. She is also a member of the Empirical Gender Research Network (E-GEN) and a Research Affiliate with NYU’s Global TIES for Children. She specializes in comparative politics with a substantive focus on gender, South Asia, political economy, and institutions. Her research combines careful causal identification with innovative theory building to understand why equity-promoting reforms have unintended consequences that may deepen inequality.

A series of forthcoming publications captures the impact of reforms expanding rights to a crucial good – land – in the world’s largest democracy: India. Her articles have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Politics and the Journal of Development Economics, and her first book manuscript, titled Women’s Representation and Resistance: Positive and Perverse Consequences of Indian Reforms for Gender Equality, is under contract with Cambridge University Press. In her book, she finds a paradoxical outcome of quotas improving women’s political voice: while representation ensures enforcement of women’s new economic rights, it also mobilizes backlash against them. A recent news article about her research can be found here.

In addition, Professor Brulé studies the channels through which social norms drive political behavior and political economy preferences. The first paper on this topic, “Culture, Capital, and the Gender Gap in Political Economy Preferences,” co-authored with Nikhar Gaikwad, won the Midwest Political Science Association’s Pi Sigma Alpha Award for “Best Paper Overall” at their 2017 Annual Conference.

She is the recipient of a Marshall Scholarship and Truman Scholarship, and has worked to develop, implement, and analyze randomized field experiments on economic empowerment’s impact in collaboration with MIT’s Poverty Action Lab and the World Bank.