Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Maha Ali

PhD candidate

M. Ali
+31 71 527 5477

Maha Ali is a doctoral researcher exploring the role of Asian states at the United Nations, within the European Research Council (ERC) funded project - "Global South Challenging the Liberal World Order from Within".

More information about Maha Ali

Fields of interest

Maha's research interests lie at the intersection of human rights law and development policy; multilateral institutions; international justice and gender; post-colonial legacies in Asia and their impact on international politics.


Maha is carrying out research on the role of Asian states in historically shaping global political discourse on ‘development’ and 'human rights' at the UN. While considering the role of Asian states at multilateral forums, various instances of South-South cooperation have emerged, demonstrating a quest for political, social and economic rights and freedoms, and a political position against colonialism and imperialism. 

Maha explores varying global south narratives, contributing towards more inclusive and robust policies at the UN, with research on constitutionality, regional political dynamics, international obligations and domestic commitments to reveal the degree of role these elements have played in shaping international politics and foreign policy for these Asian States, whereby recovering historical agency of the global south, which has so far been presented through a diluted narrative at the UN.

Curriculum vitae

Maha holds a BA-LLB (Hons) degree in from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. During her time in Pakistan, she worked for Sindh Human Rights Commission, Government of Sindh, as an Advocacy and Communications Officer. Later, she worked as a Legal Analyst for the Chief Minister Punjab’s Office (Strategic Reforms Unit), Government of Punjab, where she drafted the Punjab Women Protection Authority Act, 2017, and the Punjab Shehr-e-Khamoshan Authority Act, 2017. She also initiated work on a legislation for rehabilitation of senior citizens in Punjab, as well on gender equality reforms and women's rights in Sindh.

Maha has also worked on the pilot project for the implementation of the first Violence Against Women Center established in Pakistan in March 2017. She provided legal trainings and monitored cases of violence being reported within the all-female-run facility.

In 2018, she received her LLM degree in Human Rights Law, with a specialization in international justice, from Central European University, Budapest. Subsequently, she worked on human rights law and policy projects with various international and non-governmental organizations, such as the ILO, Open Society Foundation, and European Roma Rights Center among others. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctoral degree at Leiden University.

Key publications

Ali M. (2018), Restitution of Conjugal Rights in Islam, Research Society of International Law Annual Law Review, Pakistan, 116-119.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • History and International Studies

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 0.11b


  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.