Balakrishnan Rajagopal

Balakrishnan Rajagopal is the founder of the Displacement Research and Action Network at MIT.  He is the current head of the International Development Group (IDG) and a Professor of Law and Development at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and founding Director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice at MIT.  He is a leading scholar-activist of human rights and development and is well-known for his critical approach to development planning and the law and politics of the Third World.  He has been a member of the Executive Council and Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law and is currently on the Asia Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch and on the editorial boards of many journals. He has published numerous scholarly articles in leading law and social science journals and is the author of two books -International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003; 2nd edition forthcoming), and Reshaping Justice: International Law and the Third World (co-editor, Routledge, 2008).  He served for many years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia and was human rights advisor to the World Commission on Dams. He recently served as a member of the International Academic Advisory Council at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey. His work has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, and French. He has published widely in the media on human rights, development and international law and issues concerning the global south in such publications as the Boston Globe, the Hindu, Washington Post, the Indian Express, El Universal, and the Nation and is a blogger at