The Project on Justice, Welfare, and Economics at Harvard University has announced its graduate student dissertation fellowship and research grant recipients for 2004-05. This interdisciplinary initiative, which supports faculty and student research across the University, promotes research and knowledge connecting the study of freedom, justice, and economics to human welfare and development.

Dissertation fellowships and research grants will support Harvard graduate students whose research topics are relevant to questions of justice and human welfare. The members of the faculty committee involved in the initiative are professors Amartya Sen (chair), Jorge I. Domínguez, Benjamin Friedman, Michael Kremer, Jane Mansbridge, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Thomas Scanlon, Dennis Thompson, and Richard Tuck. The program is housed at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

The dissertation fellowship recipients are as follows:

Joyce Chen, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will examine gender discrimination in children’s health and education to disentangle the underlying causes, identify their relative magnitudes, and consider how they may change with economic development.

David Clingingsmith, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will study the empirical economics of the family in Indonesia as part of his dissertation.

Katerina Linos, a J.D./Ph.D. candidate in government, will study how countries learn from one another in developing their family, poverty, and health policies, and how international organizations shape national policymaking in these areas.

Shannon O’Neil Trowbridge, a Ph.D. candidate in government, will work to analyze the data and information collected during a year of fieldwork, and begin to write her dissertation, which focuses on the consequences of various institutional reforms to pension systems on political participation and interest intermediation in Latin America.

Vlad Perju, an S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School (HLS), will work on a theory of law in pluralist societies. More specifically, he will engage in a comparative and normative study of why different versions of modern-day constitutionalism lack the resources to conceptualize and assess claims rooted in conflicting, yet equally legitimate worldviews.

Patrick Shin, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, will continue developing his account of the concept of equal treatment, with particular attention to investigating the practical implications of his theory for the legal model of discrimination, the ethics of “racial profiling,” and the nature of our duties with regard to animals.

The research grant recipients are as follows:

Jal Mehta, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology and social policy, will work on his dissertation, which seeks to explain the rise of standards and accountability as the cornerstone of American education policy over the past generation. It is an idea-centered approach that seeks to use these changes as a window into contemporary America’s changing understandings of equality, liberty, motivation, responsibility, and justice.

Rahul Sagar, a Ph.D. candidate in government, will examine the justifications for state secrecy and its subsequent impact on political philosophy, particularly in regard to democratic accountability.

Talha Syed, an S.J.D. candidate at HLS, will evaluate, from an empirical, interdisciplinary, and normative perspective, domestic and international aspects of patent protection for pharmaceuticals.