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Mala Htun


Photo: Mala Htun
Personal Website
Curriculum vitae
Office:  SSCO 2041

Research Area/s:

Comparative Politics


Mala Htun is Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico and co-PI and deputy director of ADVANCE at UNM. She is the author of Inclusion Without Representation in Latin America: Gender Quotas and Ethnic Reservations (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce, and the Family under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies (Cambridge Press, 2003), and The Logics of Gender Justice: State Action on Women’s Rights around the World (Cambridge 2018, co-authored with Laurel Weldon), which won the Best Book in Human Rights Award from the International Studies Association. In 2015, she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Formerly, she held the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in Japan, and was a fellow at the Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame and the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard. She has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Norwegian Research Council, Social Science Research Council, and National Security Education Program. She has served as a consultant to the World Bank, UN Women, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Inter-American Dialogue. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard and a A.B. in international relations from Stanford, and was Assistant and then Associate Professor at the New School for Social Research from 2000-2011.

Research Interests

Htun’s scholarly work focuses on comparative politics, the rights of disadvantaged groups, political inclusion, and gender equality.  

Recent Accomplishments

Recognized by New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives for “scholarly achievement in the social sciences and keen awareness of the human dimensions of global problems” (2016)

Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2015)

Selected Publications


Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon, States and the Logics of Gender Justice. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Mala Htun, Inclusion Without Representation in Latin America: Gender Quotas and Ethnic Reservations (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Mala Htun, Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce, and the Family under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Published in Spanish as Sexo y Estado: Aborto, divorcio y familia bajo dictaduras y democracias en América Latina (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales, 2010).

Articles in Journals

Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon, “Religious Power, the State, Women’s Rights, and Family Law.” Politics & Gender 11 (September 2015): 1-27.

Mala Htun and Juan Pablo Ossa, “Political Inclusion of Marginalized Groups: Gender Parity and Indigenous Reservations in Bolivia.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 1, 1 (March 2013): 4-25.

Mala Htun, Marina Lacalle, and Juan Pablo Micozzi, “Does Women’s Presence Change Legislative Behavior? Evidence from Argentina.” Journal of Politics in Latin America 2, 1 (2013): 95-125.

Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon, “Civic Origins of Progressive Policy Change: Combating Violence Against Women in Global Perspective.” American Political Science Review 106, 3 (August 2012): 548-569.

Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon, “State Power, Religion, and Women’s Rights: Comparative Analysis of Family Law,” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 18, no. 1 (Winter 2011).

Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon, “When do Governments Promote Women’s Rights? A Framework for the Comparative Analysis of Sex Equality Policy,” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 1 (March 2010): 207-216.

Mala Htun and Timothy J. Power, “Gender, Parties, and Support for Equal Rights in the Brazilian Congress,” Latin American Politics and Society 48, no. 4 (Winter 2006): 83-104.

Mala Htun, “What It Means to Study Gender and the State,” Politics and Gender 1, no. 1 (Fall 2005): 157-166.

Mala Htun, “Is Gender Like Ethnicity? The Political Representation of Identity Groups,” Perspectives on Politics 2, no. 3 (September 2004): 439-458.

Mala Htun, “From Racial Democracy to Affirmative Action: Changing State Policy on Race in Brazil,” Latin American Research Review 39, no. 1 (February 2004): 60-89.