Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising projects on cross-border and transnational social movements including labour movements, women's rights, and grassroots peace organisations.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Samanthi J. Gunawardana is a Senior Lecturer in Gender and Development in the School of Social Science in the Faculty of Arts.

From 2013-2022, Samanthi was the Course Director for the Master of International Development Practice.  She has a PhD in Economics and Commerce from The University of Melbourne. Prior to joining Monash University, she was a Lecturer in Employment Relations at Griffith University, and an Instructor in Labour Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Samanthi was the 2009-2010 Visiting Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Connecticut, and in 2006 she was a Visiting International Fellow at Cornell University.

Samanthi’s research examines the impact of development policy on employment systems, labour, and livelihoods among rural women in South Asia, particularly emphasising gender, development and labour in Sri Lanka. Key topics explored include export processing zone employment systems, agrarian labour, freedom of association, labour organizing, labour migration, microfinance and debt, entrepreneurship, and connections between the political economy of households and development policy. Her current research examines the possibilities for decentering and decolonising cross-border partnerships, alliances, and collaborations. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • International Political Economy
  • Gender
  • Labour Force
  • Developing countries
  • Worker's Rights
  • Human Rights
  • Decolonisation
  • Ethical Sourcing
  • Feminist political economy
  • Livelihoods
  • Sri Lanka
  • Economic security
  • Employment relations
  • Entrepreneurship

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or