My Wellesley
Nadya Hajj

Nadya Hajj

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Nadya Hajj's research is driven by this question: What are the origins of institutions among marginalized groups in anarchic systems?

What are the origins of institutions in anarchic settings? This central question guides my research. In particular, how do communities construct institutions without the direction of a state? My research examines the origins of institutions, namely property rights, in Palestinian refugee camps. Specifically, I examine the formation of property rights with respect to private assets (housing and construction industry sectors) and shared resources (water and electricity). I conduct in-depth and survey interviews in Palestinian refugee camps located throughout Lebanon and Jordan to answer my central research questions.

My teaching interests focus on comparative politics, comparative political economy, development and underdevelopment, qualitative methods, politics of the Middle East and North Africa, gender and Islam, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I am actively involved in Wellesley's Arab Women's Association and serve as the Political Science faculty liaison to the Political Science Major's Council.

Funding from the Freedom Project helped me bring the voices of refugees to our students. In Spring 2017, a Palestinian refugee and an Armenian refugee sat down with students and shared their stories. In Fall 2017, a Wellesley alumna and member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Mary White, will share her story of working with refugee and asylum seekers from a medical perspective. Freedom Project funding allows me to shine a spotlight on refugees and those people working to address their humanitarian needs with the Wellesley College community.