Balakrishnan Rajagopal is currently a professor of law and development and head of the International Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also the founding director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice and founder of the Displacement Research and Action Network at MIT. He has a law degree from the University of Madras, a master's degree in law from the American University, as well as an interdisciplinary doctorate in law from Harvard Law School.
He is recognized as a founder of and leading participant in the Third World Approaches to International Law network of scholars. He has been a member of the executive council and executive committee of the American Society of International Law and currently serves on the Asia advisory board of Human Rights Watch. Before attending Harvard, he served for many years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia and received that country’s highest Royal Award for foreign nationals from the King of Cambodia.
He has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters and is the author of two books: International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Reshaping Justice: International Law and the Third World (co-editor) (Routledge, 2008). He has also published widely in the media on human rights and international law and issues concerning the Global South in such publications as the Boston Globe, The Hindu, The Washington Post, The Indian Express, El Universal, The Nation and huffingtonpost.com.