Research team





Christine Lutringer

Christine Lutringer is senior research fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy. Trained in political science and international history, she studied in Strasbourg (Institut d’études politiques), Rome (University "La Sapienza" and LUISS) and Geneva at the Graduate Institute where she received her Ph.D. in international history and politics in 2009. From 2010 to 2016 she was researcher and lecturer with the Institute for Area and Global Studies at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Her recent projects and publications examine various forms of civil society engagement in the processes of urban governance and urban planning. At the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy she is in charge of projects on local democracy, citizenship and civic activism. Drawing on a set of case studies in urban India, she explores the strategies used by civil society to “voice” concerns and to create spaces of participation in public debates and public policies.


Neus Torbisco

Neus Torbisco Casals is interested in legal and political philosophy generally, as well as in constitutional theory, human rights and gender and migration studies. Her research focuses mainly on issues relating to cultural diversity and minority rights, gender equality, immigration and democratic theory, as well as on the foundations of human rights. In each area, she concentrates on the ways in which legal and political orderings engage with diversity with the aim of sustaining mutual cooperation and fairness. Neus Torbisco Casals has published several articles and chapters on these topics and has presented papers at conferences in Europe and America. She is the author of Group Rights as Human Rights: A Liberal Approach to Multiculturalism, Springer, 2006, and “Beyond Altruism? Globalising Democracy in the Age of Distrust” in The Monist, 2015, 98, 4.



Deval Desai

Deval Desai is post-doctoral research fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy. Trained in history and French literature (M.A., Oxford), and law and social theory (LL.M. and S.J.D., Harvard Law School), he is a member of the Bar of England and Wales. He researches the law and politics of expertise, and the rule of law in developing countries. His current research projects critically examine creativity as a mode of regulation and policymaking, focusing on multi-stakeholder initiatives and on rule of law reform. Since 2009, Deval has also worked for the World Bank as a rule of law reform and governance expert in Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Uganda; as well as advising the UN on rule of law issues. As a lawyer, he has worked on corporate accountability, including as an attorney on the case of Kiobel before the US Supreme Court.


Karine Peschard

Karine Peschard is a post-doctoral researcher at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, on a Swiss National Science Foundation grant entitled “Bringing the seed wars to the courtroom: legal activism and the governance of plant genetic resources in Brazil and India.” She holds a PhD in anthropology from McGill University. She is also a visiting faculty at the Centre for Sustainable Development of the University of Brasília (CDS/UnB) and an associate researcher at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSH Delhi). Her research interests are centered on social movements, biotechnology, biodiversity and intellectual property rights, with a comparative focus on Brazil and India.

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Diego Silva

Diego Silva is a postdoctoral researcher at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy working for the project “Bringing the seed wars to the courtroom: legal activism and the governance of plant genetic resources in Brazil and India.” Trained in Economics, International Development, and Anthropology, he has studied and worked in Colombia (Universidad Nacional), Canada (Norman Paterson School), and Switzerland (The Graduate Institute, Geneva), where he received his Ph.D in Anthropology and Sociology of Development in 2017. His research is located at the intersection of science and technology studies, environmental and legal anthropology and economics, paying special attention to the socio-technical networks that are necessary for the deployment of agricultural innovations.


Rebecca Tapscott

Rebecca Tapscott is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, researching the relationship between violence and governance in illiberal democratic regimes. Her current project examines strategic unpredictability as a non-traditional mode of state governance in Uganda through a study of citizens’ lived experiences of (in)security. Rebecca also has extensive field experience, having worked since 2010 on projects in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Niger, and Nepal, for several development non-government organizations and research projects. Rebecca holds a PhD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and previously worked as a researcher for the Justice and Security Research Programme at the London School of Economics.