Skip to content

Claudia Veronica Torres Patino
Research Assistant, CIDE
ctorrespatino at


“In Harm’s Way: Value, Order, and Legitimate Punishment in Two Mexico City Street Sex Markets”

This doctorate project explores the following argument. After the globalization of human rights and anti-trafficking laws (1980-), Mexican prostitutes strategically adopted the distinction between volition and coercion that primarily first- and second-wave feminists have created in order to participate in elite politics and advance their collective and intimate interests. However, this distinction seems to clash with the complexity of prostitutes’ actual experiences strategizing with the economy and dealing with their emotions. In face of this complexity, the most paramount distinction of contemporary governance feminism runs out. Still, I propose that sex workers continue to invoke it because the distinction activates the legal machinery, which has become part of sex workers’ emotional politics.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Feminist Theory and Affect with Professor Janet Halley, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Urbanization in the Developing World with Professor Diane Davis, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
  • The Regulation of Prostitution in the History of Legal Thought with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Labor Law
  • Legal Theory: Critical Legal Studies
  • Methods: Legal Ethnography
  • Queer Theory in Legal Studies
  • Sexuality and the Law


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2016-Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2015-2016 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • Center of Economic Research and Teaching (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE), Mexico City, J.D. equivalent (Licenciada en Derecho) 2013

Last Updated: October 7, 2016