Her main area of work has been in the field of education, which she approaches from a sociological and political economy perspective. Her research has focused on education policy and reform processes, and the ways in which education mediates relations between the state and society in developing countries. In various studies she explores the radical forms of policy discontinuity in Peru, that reflect the country’s weak institutions and cultures of policy making.
In recent years, her work has also explored processes of default educational privatisation, the emergence and consequences of low-fee private schools, and the influence of educational markets on school social segregation. She has also analyzed questions of citizenship, the contradictions between the learned and lived experiences of citizenship among vulnerable young people, and youth transition processes in the context of exclusionary citizenship regimes. Her most recent work explores the contribution of education to epistemic, environmental and transitional forms of justice, as well as to peace building and humanitarian challenges in contexts of crisis and emergencies.
Concerns about gender and knowledge production are central to her work. Located within the interpretive paradigm in the social sciences, she has specialized in the use of qualitative, frequently participatory, research methodologies, and, more recently on mixed methods research designs. She has also focused on the relation between knowledge and decision-making processes, as well as on the ways in which social science knowledge is produced and used in developing countries, its gendered nature and its value and recognition within an unequal global regime of knowledge production.
She holds a PhD in Education Policy from the University of Bath, an MA in Psychoanalytic Studies from the University of Essex, both in the UK, and a BA in Philosophy from the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru. Between 2006 and 2011 she was a postdoctoral fellow and then a Lecturer in the Department of Education of the University of Bath, where she was associated to the Education Policy and Globalization research group.