Graduate Student Directory

Mette Frederiksen
  • Title
    • Ph.D. Student
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Phone
    831-459-4450 (Message)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Academic Building, 123
  • Office Hours Fall 2020 via Zoom: Monday 11-12 and Thursday 1-2
  • Mail Stop Merrill/Crown Faculty Services

Summary of Expertise

My research and teaching interests are broadly within law and society, women's and gender studies, global politics, and environmental studies. My academic interests are rooted in field research and policy work around international development policies and human rights abuses related to extractive industries, such as mining, oil and gas, and investment and international financial institutions.

My dissertation project examines questions of injury and injustice in contexts of environmental pollution from toxic chemicals, with a particular focus on women and pesticides in Southeast Asia.

TA experience at UC Santa Cruz:

LGST 10 Intro to the Legal Process

POLI/LGST 116 Comparative Law

POLI/LGST 160B International Law

POLI 60 Comparative Politics

POLI 70 Global Politics



Research Interests

Sociolegal Studies; Women's and Gender Studies; Global Politics; Critical Theory; International Law; Human Rights; Environmental Justice; Indigenous Rights; Social Movements; Protests; Resistance; Legal Mobilization; Access to Justice; Dispute Institutions; Environmental Pollution; Toxic Chemicals; Food Systems; Political Ecology.

Biography, Education and Training

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I spent most of my youth playing and coaching basketball. In high school, a geography class sparked my curiosity about other countries and the relationship between natural resource extraction and development policies, which led me to pursue a bachelor's degree in international development studies. As much as I love reading books, I quickly realized that the best way to learn about the world, politics, people, and cultures is to get out there. So far this philosophy has taken me to various places in Central America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Through these experiences, I discovered that my passion lies within human rights and political activism, which has now been the main focus of my studies and work for around a decade. At UC Santa Cruz I seek to explore those interests further, and both build on and challenge the knowledge and perspectives I have acquired in my previous work by drawing on literature and schools of thought from various fields within and outside the social sciences.


Teaching for Equity Certificate Programme, CITL, UC Santa Cruz


MA Human Rights Studies, Columbia University


MA Global Studies, Roskilde University


BSc. International Development Studies and History, Roskilde University


Honors, Awards and Grants

Jessica Roy Memorial Award, 2020, UCSC Sociology Department

Politics Department Summer Fellowship, 2020, UCSC

Politics Department Travel Grant, 2020, UCSC

Politics Department Travel Grant, 2019, UCSC

Regents Fellowship, 2018, UCSC

Relocation Fellowship, 2018, UCSC

Scholarship for Studies Abroad, 2018, Familien Hede Nielsens Fond

Tuition Reduction Award, 2015, Institute for the Studies of Human Rights, Columbia University

Scholarship for Studies Abroad, 2015, the Danish Women's Society

Scholarship Award, 2014, American Women’s Club in Denmark

Scholarship for Studies Abroad, 2014, Knud Højgaards Fond


Teaching Interests

Legal Studies; Global Politics; the EU and European Politics; Environmental Politics; Comparative Politics.