Susan Ostermann is an assistant professor of global affairs at the University of Notre Dame and an expert in comparative politics in South Asia, regulatory compliance, and environmental regulation. Her work seeks to understand why actors comply with regulations in unlikely circumstances, such as when states are weak or actors have strong incentives to break the law.
Her publications include journal articles “Nepal in 2017: Democracy’s Festive Return,” in Asian Survey (2018); “From Quiescent Bureaucracy to Undocumented Wonder: Explaining the Indian Election Commission’s Expanding Mandate” with Amit Ahuja (2018) in Governance; and “Rule of Law against the Odds: Overcoming Poverty and the High Cost of Compliance in the Developing World” (2016) in Law & Policy. She also co-authored, with Pradeep Chhibber, “A Democratic Balance: Bureaucracy, Political Parties and Political Representation” in Jack H. Nagel and Rogers M. Smith (Eds.), Representation: Elections and Beyond (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).
Her current projects explore the historical roots of conservatism in Indian political thought, the development and expansion of the Indian Election Commission, and variation in sex ratios throughout the subcontinent.
She was a co-developer of “Global Actors and Institutions,” a core course in the Master of Global Affairs program at the Keough School of Global Affairs.
She earned both a PhD and an MA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a law degree from Stanford Law School and previously worked as an attorney, focusing on class actions and intellectual property disputes. She earned a BA in politics from Pomona College. Before coming to Notre Dame, Ostermann was a visiting assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University.
Camelia Rovira Denton
Kellogg Institute Panel Debates Democratic Backsliding Worldwide
Nov 3, 2023
The Kellogg Institute of International Studies hosted a panel, “Global Democracy at Risk: Why it Matters and What Can be Done,” Thursday in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium. The five speakers included University professors, directors of democratic institutions, and foreign political figures.
Researcher to Examine Housing Resilience and Regulation Following Maui Wildfire
Oct 27, 2023
Through a National Science Foundation-funded grant, Kellogg Faculty Fellow Susan Ostermann, a political scientist at the Keough School of Global Affairs and an attorney with expertise in regulatory compliance, is researching strategies for improving adherence to key hazard-resistant practices in the design and construction of homes in three geographical contexts: Alaska, Puerto Rico, and most recently, Maui.
Undergraduates Contribute to Democracy Research Through Kellogg Programs
Apr 27, 2023
With democracy in crisis in many parts of the world, Kellogg's mission to promote research on democracy is even more crucial. Students in the International Scholars Program and Kellogg Developing Researchers program learn research skills to provide one-to-one support to faculty in their research on democracy.