My dissertation explores the intersections of gender, governance, and science and compares two sites where these three themes intersect. The first site is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which regulate the inclusion of sex and gender in federal government-funded health research in the United States (US). The second site is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and their eligibility rules governing the participation of transgender and intersex women in Olympic sports.
My research examines: the policy development process; how governing bodies like the NIH and IOC construct sex and gender and the relationship between them; the role of feminists in embracing or contesting such policies; and the ways in which these regulatory efforts shape broader understandings of sex and gender-based difference. This mixed methods project combines archival data, semi-structured interviews, and textual analysis.
I am in the process of writing up a mixed methods analysis of participatory budgeting in Chicago, drawing on the work I did for my master's thesis. Participatory budgeting is a process that allows residents to decide how to spend a particular pot of public money. There are a number of ways that residents can participate, from the initial collection of ideas to the final vote. The process therefore offers opportunities for residents to apply and extend or start building their civic skills, knowledge, and networks. I'm analyzing which residents were most involved in the Chicago process in 2011-2012 in order to assess how well they achieved their stated goal of involving residents other than the "usual suspects:" white, highly educated, wealthier, older residents from the four wards of the city that participated. This is also a mixed methods project involving both interviews and survey data, though I'm currently developing a paper based primarily on quantitative methods.
You can read more about PB Chicago here.