Penn Arts and Sciences

Erica Dobbs

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SSPF Postdoctoral Fellow

Erica Dobbs received her Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September 2013, after earning her B.A. in history at Howard University, and her M.P.P. at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Her research focuses on how the global movement of both capital and labor drives local political actors to re-evaluate notions of citizenship and identity, strategies for collective action, and the structure of institutions.  In her dissertation project, she explores when and why native political actors in countries where immigration is a relatively recent phenomenon move to treat new immigrants as constituents.  Her next project will focus on “Justice for Janitors” campaigns in the U.S. South, and will examine the viability of this approach to mobilizing low-wage service workers outside of traditional union strongholds.  Prior to enrolling at MIT, she worked on organizing campaigns with the Service Employees International Union in Miami, Florida. Her research has been funded by the U.S. Fulbright-Schuman Program, the Center for International Studies at MIT, Mellon/ACLS, and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

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