Rachel L. Wellhausen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Government
McCombs School of Business (by courtesy)
University of Texas at Austin
Office: BAT 4.138 (512.232.7202)
Office hours: By appointment via Zoom
Mail: 158 W 21st St., Stop A1800
Austin, TX 78712-1704
Rachel L. Wellhausen is an Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also an Associate Professor (by courtesy) in the Business, Government, and Society Department at the McCombs School of Business and an affiliate of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Rachel is co-director of Innovations for Peace and Development, an interdisciplinary research lab at UT Austin that provides mentored research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. Previously she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.
Rachel's primary field of interest is international political economy, and specifically the political economy of international investment and finance. She has ongoing research interests in political risk; international investment law; sovereign debt; and developing countries' policy flexibility given economic globalization. Her book The Shield of Nationality: When Governments Break Contracts with Foreign Firms (Cambridge University Press 2015) won the Best Book Award (2015-2017) from the International Political Economy Society. The dissertation on which the book is based won the Mancur Olson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best dissertation in political economy (2011-2012).
Rachel is also pursuing work on the political economy of indigenous lands, territories, and dependencies, which face many of the promises and pitfalls of sovereignty -- even if applying the word "sovereign" requires scare quotes. Her current book project, The Politics of Sovereignty in the Global Economy, seeks to establish the extent to which partial, rather than full, sovereignty can be economically useful, even if not politically ideal. In understanding how partial sovereigns make use of their economic autonomy, we gain insights into the durability of often confusing, but nonetheless persistent, liminal political statuses. Moreover, including partial sovereigns in the unit of analysis reveals dynamics that are otherwise opaque when sovereignty does not vary.
In related work, Rachel is collaborating with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Center for Indian Country Development and Native partners in carrying out survey research on how to improve access to formal banking services in underserved American Indian communities in the United States.
Rachel has published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, Journal of Politics, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Review of International Organizations, and other outlets. She received the Michael Wallerstein Award from the American Political Science Association for the best paper published in political economy in 2016, with Leslie Johns.
She is also co-editor of the book Production in the Innovation Economy (MIT Press 2014, with Richard M. Locke), which resulted from MIT's interdisciplinary project on innovation and production.
Rachel received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She holds a M.Sc. with Distinction in European Political Economy: Transition from the London School of Economics. She is a graduate of the Honors College at the University of Arizona and holds a B.A. in Economics, a B.A. in English with Honors, and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Russian Studies, German Studies, and Political Science).