Heba Alex

Heba Alex is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. Her scholarship focuses on how legal practices and institutions structure political spaces and understandings of citizenship. In her current research on courts, she interrogates the ways in which lower criminal courts affect civic engagement and the ideas of the law’s legitimacy. The project speaks to a broader interest in theorizing legal actors’ behavior in a highly contingent legal environment that resists generalization. She is currently working on her dissertation proposal, which examines the coupling and decoupling of citizenship and rights. Using the U.S. as a case study, the project probes the conditions under which citizenship becomes the organizing principle of a specific right and why a right is removed from the citizenship field. She examines the variations in how rights and citizenship are bundled over space and time and how their (dis)connection moves across different activities and attributes. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Heba worked at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York and earned an MA in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.