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Siddhartha Baral

Dissertation Fellow
UC San Diego

Siddhartha Baral is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. His research examines how stigmatized minority groups—in particular sexual and gender minorities (SGMs)—leverage service provision to build in-group communities, garner organizational legitimacy, and gain socio-political access in relatively hostile contexts. Since the onset of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, SGM groups have engaged extensively in HIV/AIDS service delivery work, often in collaboration with various state and international agencies. Such collaborations have oftentimes aided SGM civil society formation and consolidation, even under contexts of legal and societal proscriptions against non-normative sexualities and identities. Understanding, therefore, how such minority civil society organizations (CSOs) continue to negotiate service provision and socio-political advocacy in order to make progress toward a range of social, political, and economic goals forms the crux of Siddhartha’s dissertation. His primary research site is India, where he plans to conduct qualitative interviews with the leaders of various SGM CSOs. Additional empirical evidence will come from a collaborative, cross-national survey of LGBTQI+ CSO leaders. His interdisciplinary research will contribute to different strands of literature on social movements, civil society, and the comparative politics of gender, sexuality, and identity. More importantly, it will shed much-needed light on how stigmatized minorities who do not possess social, economic, or electoral power nevertheless manage to make themselves heard and represented, despite majoritarian tendencies of democracies—and autocracies alike—that tend to dictate otherwise.

Proposal Title: From AIDS to Organizing: LGBT+ Civil Society and Service-Led Advocacy in the Global South

Sid Baral.

Expertise & Interests

  • Ethnicity
  • Identity
  • Development
  • South Asia