Our Students - Profiles

Mayra Feddersen


Year: Advanced to Candidacy (ABD) - JSP

Website: https://internetworkmigration.wordpress.com/


Mayra Feddersen is a PhD Candidate in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program (JSP) at UC Berkeley School of Law. Her research explores the relationship between immigration and bureaucratic politics in South America. Her recent work focuses on the role of middle level administrative officials in shaping immigration law and policies, and on the effects of the institutional configuration of the bureaucracy in defining the officials’ goals and capacities inside and outside the state. Mayra holds a law degree from Diego Portales University (2006) and an L.L.M from Berkeley Law (2011). Before joining JSP, Mayra was a professor at Diego Portales Law School and at its Human Rights Center, where she ran the International Human Rights Law Clinic and taught courses on the Inter-American System of Human Rights and International Refugee Law. Mayra has consulted with numerous non-governmental, regional and international agencies, such as the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), the European Commission, the Due Process Foundation, and the Justice Center for the Americas (CEJAS).

Calvin Morrill, Stephen Rushin, Mayra Feddersen. 2014. "Mobilization of Law." In James D. Wright (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd edition). Oxford, England: Elsevier Limited.

Plaut, V.C., Tecle, A., & Feddersen, M. 2013. A sociocultural analysis of U.S. immigration law and psychology in Tartakovsky, E. (Ed.), Immigration: Policies, Challenges, and Impact. Hauppauge, NY: NOVA Science Publishers.


Attorney at Law, Diego Portales University (Chile)
L.L.M. Berkeley Law (2011)


Politics of Immigration, Sociology of Immigration, Bureaucracies, and Sociology of Law.


Completion Dissertation Fellowship, UC Berkeley, 2016-2017
Human Rights Fellow 2014, Human Rights Center, Berkeley Law.
Fulbright Scholar in 2012.

Academic Experiences:

Diego Portales School of Law (Chile)
Human Rights Center, Diego Portales University (Chile).
Justice Center for the Americas (Chile).

Employment Experiences:

Policy Advisor, Department of Immigration, Ministry of Interior and Public Security, Chile
Assistant Professor of Law and Researcher at the Human Rights Center (Diego Portales University, Chile)
Executive Assistant and Research assistant at the Justice Center for the Americas (CEJAS)

Dissertation Abstract:

My dissertation explores two interrelated questions situated at the intersection of
bureaucratic and immigration politics in a post-authoritarian state from a meaning-centered perspective: (1) How do non-elected bureaucrats shape immigration laws and policies? (2) How do institutional structures shape administrative officials’ perspectives, goals and capacities inside and outside the state? This project emphasizes states’ internal sub-divisions and how actors within those subdivisions selectively come to make sense and shape immigration laws and policies. Specifically, the dissertation examines how middle-and-mezzo level administrative officials define the policy frames they use to shape internal policies and political participation with powerful consequences for the field of immigration policies in Chile and broader immigration policies in South America. The study builds on the ethnography of law approach (Darian-Smith 2004) and the structured-polity approach that conceives political activity as carried out by administrative officials conditioned by the institutional configurations of the government and political party system (Skocpol 1995).

Curriculum Vitae