Jennifer Simons

Jennifer Simons

Office

Gibson Hall, 1540 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22904

Subfield

Comparative Politics

Degrees

BA, Stanford University
MSc, London School of Economics
MA, Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris)

Statement

I am interested in the development of identity politics in avowedly pluralist, secular states (particularly Israel, Turkey and India) – what has caused the populations of these states, which were founded upon ideals of pluralism and tolerance, to return to a seemingly more primordial approach to politics based on clan-like allegiances? How has this shift changed the relationship between state and citizen and the nature of local democracy? And finally, how has this shift changed these states’ foreign affairs and the ways in which they are perceived by other members of the international community? Similarly, I am interested in universal conceptions of human rights and the politics of cultural relativity. As peoples and states have moved closer together through globalization, how have local cultures and particularities politically mobilized to combat the seemingly Western encroachment of human rights norms?