Across projects, my work tries to disentangle and theorize about the institutional implications of laws and legal processes. Two main intellectual traditions inform my research on legal institutions and institutionalism more generally. The first is a set of institutionalist perspectives that is interested in the ways local sites respond to, mimic, and recursively adapt transnational patterns. The second is a line of research and theory that pushes for more interdisciplinary evidence from legal peripheries to inform more established principles about legal workings at the core.

In addition to these perspectives influencing my research and writing broadly, I run, along with Sara Dezalay, an international research collaborative with the Law and Society Association (LSA-IRC). The IRC has, over the last several LSA annual meetings, brought together scholars across a range of disciplines to co-construct new theories of legal globalization and institutional emergence. An edited volume of research from these conversations is currently under review. Having recently been elected to the board (2018-22) of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on the Sociology of Law (ISA-RCSL), I hope to, in the coming years, expand this conversation to include new colleagues, sites, and perspectives. If this might resonate with your research, please be in touch.



Ballakrishnen, Swethaa. 2018. “Just Like Global Firms: Unintended Parity and Speculative Isomorphism in India’s Elite Professions.” | Conditional Acceptance at Law and Society Review

Ballakrishnen, Swethaa and Sara Dezalay. 2018. Invisible Institutionalisms. | Under review

Law and Society Association. 2016. Invisible Institutionalisms: What Can We See When We Are Looking. International Collaborative Travel Grant for IRC Participant Attendance ($3456)

Institute of Global Law and Policy at Harvard. 2014. Operation CIA: Critical Interdisciplinary Approaches. Collaborative Travel Grant ($1000)