Rachel Ann Hulvey

…is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate affiliate of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. International law and institutions are attributed as major forces shaping international cooperation, but how does common understanding develop? Her research studies the forces shaping the creation of international order in a novel global domain: the internet.

Rachel Ann Hulvey is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research broadly spans the areas of international law, international organizations, and security, to consider how governments approach the internet and bring a complex and mercurial medium under political control.

Her dissertation examines the development of order in cyberspace. Contrary to most existing issue areas, internet governance is highly decentralized. United States efforts were instrumental in establishing institutions to privilege the decision-making power of private actors to limit government interference with a borderless channel of communication. China has emerged as a significant advocate of binding rules and treaties. Using a mixed-methods approach, she examines how China’s normative tools influence government preferences for formal treaties in cyberspace.

Other related research agendas examine the complications of cyberspace for governance through two areas of focus. First, cyberspace has seemed just beyond the reach of territorial governments. How does the concept of borders apply to the internet? Second, in many instances, platform companies behave like supranational bodies empowered to distribute benefits across borders online. Should we expect these technology companies to impartially apply human rights law or be pulled by the geopolitical demands of governments?

She is a Carr Center Technology and Human Rights Fellow (2019-2022), a recipient of the American Political Science Foundation’s Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (2021-2023), and the Foreign Language Area Studies Award (2021-2022). She conducted research at the Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences through the Young Sinologist Program and at Academia Sinica. Her research benefits from generous support at the University of Pennsylvania’s Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics and the Center for the Study of Contemporary China.



Selected Working Papers

“Cyber Borders: Grasping National Territorial Control in Cyberspace.” with Beth Simmons

“Corporate Judicial Decisions: The Right to be Forgotten, Google, and International Human Rights Law.” 

“Theorizing the Independence of International Organizations: IO-State Immunity Agreements.” with Julia Gray

Policy Papers

Cybersecurity as an Engine for GrowthNew America

Teaching Fellowships

War, Peace, and Strategy, Columbia University, Richard Betts (2016)

Macroeconomics, Columbia University, Thomas Groll (2017)

Chinese Politics, University of Pennsylvania, Avery Goldstein (2019)

International Security, University of Pennsylvania, Avery Goldstein (2020)

International Law University of Pennsylvania, Beth Simmons (2020)

American Foreign Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Michael Horowitz (2021)





University of Pennsylvania
Ronald O. Perlman Center for Political Science and Economics
133 S. 36th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19104

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