Shruti Iyer is a second year DPhil candidate in Socio-Legal Studies, under the supervision of Linda Mulcahy. She is a 2019 Rhodes Scholar at St Antony's College, and completed her MPhil at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in 2020. She is a co-convenor of the Law and Political Economy Discussion Group for 2021-22, and also convenes a fieldwork support group for scholars working on the Global South.
Her doctoral dissertation considers changing understandings around worker injury and compensation in India. It does this through an ethnographic case study of a government scheme in the State of Rajasthan that provisions 'ex gratia' payments to people who have a certified diagnosis of silicosis. Silicosis is an occupational lung disease typically contracted from inhaling hazardous dust at work, affecting thousands of miners and quarriers each year. Her research asks what moral discourses are produced and relied upon to make the demand for state compensation, and how this is made sense of by workers, NGO staff, and state officials. It approaches these competing and entangled moral economies through a focus on the relations between labour, civil society, and the state in demanding and provisioning compensation. Her MPhil examined the emergence of state compensation in India, linking it to the legal binary of the formal/informal worker. It drew on a transnational colonial history of labour law in Britain and South Africa to demonstrate how the legal construction of 'formal employment' allowed for the emergence of human rights discourse in India to win protections for informal workers.
Shruti graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Law (2016) from King's College London, and later worked as a researcher at the Centre for Equity Studies in New Delhi. While at King's, she worked under Professor Ben Bowling as an Undergraduate Research Fellow on race relations legislation in the UK and its links to immigration and policing, as well as on the use of new technologies of law enforcement. At the Centre for Equity Studies, her research was on the Indian state's evolving relationship to sanitation workers. She also conducted fieldwork on a range of informal labour issues, and prepared teaching curricula on exclusion in contemporary India.
Shruti has teaching experience in political science, and works as a TA in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London (2020-21 and 2021-22).