Sociology

Tatiana Andia is a third year PhD student in Sociology. Her research interests include the global political economy of development; trade, industrial policy and development; and transnational social movements.

Currently, Tatiana is studying the implementation of global pharmaceutical regulatory standards in Brazil and Colombia. In particular, she is interested in explaining why Brazil and Colombia adopted opposite policy decisions in the case of pharmaceutical intellectual property rights (IPRs) and in the case of “bioequivalence” standards for the marketing approval of generic drugs. While Brazil challenged the international intellectual property (IP) regime to favor access to and domestic production of HIV drugs, it adopted a stringent “bioequivalence” regulation that raises market-entry barriers for generic producers. In contrast, Colombia adopted strong IP rules beyond World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments but implemented a selective “bioequivalence” standard that facilitates generics’ commercialization approval. Brazil’s and Colombia’s responses to global norms are contradictory and puzzling given that the two policy issues –i.e. IPRs and commercialization approval standards- concern the same interest groups and imply very similar distributional conflicts.

Marcelo A. Bohrt is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Sociology. He received a BA in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, and a MA in sociology from Brown University in 2012. His research interests lie at the intersection of political sociology, cultural sociology, and the sociology of race and ethnicity. His work focuses on the institutional transformation of racial states and changes in race relations. His dissertation project is an ethnography of the process of decolonization of the state bureaucracy in Bolivia that examines how bureaucrats on the ground interpret, negotiate, and rearticulate ethnoracial boundaries and institutional change, and to what effect, in the context of a racial order in transformation. By placing the spotlight on the dynamics of transformation in everyday life, his project seeks to shed light on how concrete actors experience, perceive, and participate in the transformation of racialized societies.

Diana Graizbord is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in International Affairs from The New School’s Milano School for International Affairs, Management & Policy. Diana's research and teaching interests include the political economy of development and inequality, the state and social policy,
and the sociology of knowledge and expertise. Currently, she is conducting field research in Mexico City for her dissertation which explores the relationship between Mexico’s emergent welfare state, its model anti poverty policies and new the forms of expertise that undergird these. Diana has research and professional work experience in Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Ricarda Hammer has a BA in Social & Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.  Prior to Brown, she worked for the International Crisis Group in Bogotá and the International Institute for Environment and Development in London. She is currently a PhD student in Sociology at Brown University and interested in development, the informal economy and the economic reforms in Cuba.

Johnnie Lotesta graduated with a B.A. in Global Affairs from George Mason University in 2011. After graduation Johnnie worked as a research fellow for a Washington, D.C. based affordable housing developer and policy organization focusing on state implementation of federal housing programs and the preservation of America’s existing affordable housing stock. Johnnie came to Brown for her Ph.D. in Sociology. Her areas of interest include political sociology, comparative sociology, development, and Latin America. 

Heather Randell earned a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University in 2008 and a BS in Biology from Cornell University in 2005.  Her research centers on migration as well as displacement due to dam construction. Her dissertation uses mixed methods (household surveys and semi-structured interviews) to study the process and impacts of dam building on farming communities in the Brazilian Amazon.  Specifically, the project examines the dam-induced forced migration decision-making process, the livelihood impacts of displacement, as well as how smallholder farmers adapt their livelihood strategies to their new land and communities.