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Professor Prabha Kotiswaran

Professor Prabha Kotiswaran

  • Academics
  • Affiliates

Professor of Law & Social Justice

Research subject areas

  • Law

Contact details


Dr Prabha Kotiswaran is Professor of Law and Social Justice. She previously taught at SOAS. She received her undergraduate law degree in India from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and then an LLM and SJD (doctorate) from Harvard Law School. She also practiced law at the New York law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton.

Research interests

Dr Kotiswaran’s main areas of research include criminal law, transnational criminal law, feminist legal studies and sociology of law.

She is the author of Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor: Sex Work and the Law in India, published by Princeton University Press (2011) and co-published by Oxford University Press, India (2011). Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor won the SLSA-Hart Book Prize for Early Career Academics and has been extensively reviewed by several law and inter-disciplinary journals.

She has also edited Sex Work (Women Unlimited 2011) for a Series on Issues in Contemporary Indian Feminism and two journal special issues on an Economic Sociology of Law (with Amanda Perry-Kessaris and Diamond Ashiagbor) for the Journal of Law and Society (2013) and the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly (2014). She recently edited Revisiting the Law and Governance of Trafficking, Forced Labor and Modern Slavery (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society, 2017). She co-authored Governance Feminism: An Introduction (University of Minnesota Press 2018) and co-edited Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field (University of Minnesota Press 2019), both with Janet Halley, Rachel Rebouché and Hila Shamir). She has recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Law and Society with Mariana Valverde, Eve Darian-Smith and Kamari Clarke (Routledge 2021).

She is Notes Editor for the Indian Law Review (Taylor & Francis) and founding editor member of the Open Democracy Blog Beyond Slavery and Trafficking. She has been Senior Editor for Oxford Handbooks in Law Online, and on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and on the advisory boards of the Jindal Global Law Review, Review of Women’s Studies (EPW) and the Indian Journal of Human Development. She is co-editor for the Routledge series on New Trajectories in Law. She was Co-Convener (with Peer Zumbansen) of the Transnational Law Summer Institute (TLSI) held in June 2015 and June 2016.

Her research has been funded by the AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, ESRC, European Research Council, the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School. Professor Kotiswaran was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2014. Starting September 2018, she is PI for a five-year European Research Council-funded Consolidator Grant titled the Laws of Social Reproduction.