Rachel L. Wellhausen is an Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also an Associate Professor (by courtesy) in the Business, Government, and Society Department at the McCombs School of Business. Rachel is co-director of Innovations for Peace and Development, an interdisciplinary research lab at UT Austin that provides mentored research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. 

Rachel's primary field of interest is international political economy, and specifically the political economy of international investment and finance. Her book The Shield of Nationality: When Governments Break Contracts with Foreign Firms (Cambridge University Press 2015) won the Best Book Award (2015-2017) from the International Political Economy Society. Rachel has published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, Journal of Politics, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Review of International Organizations, and other outlets. She received the Michael Wallerstein Award from the American Political Science Association for the best paper published in political economy in 2016, with Leslie Johns.

Rachel has ongoing research interests in developing nations' policy flexibility given economic globalization. Her current book project, ​The Politics of Sovereignty in the Global Economy, establishes how variation in economic autonomy generates latitude for "semi-sovereigns" that is unavailable to recognized sovereign states, drawing on evidence from Indian Country and the greater United States. In related work, Rachel is collaborating with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Center for Indian Country Development and Native partners on increasing access to formal banking services in underserved Native communities. She is also completing a classroom-oriented text on Scientific Uncertainty and International Relations, showing how political actors on the international stage leverage confidence intervals foundational to the scientific process. This builds on her co-edited book, Production in the Innovation Economy (MIT Press 2014, with Richard M. Locke), which resulted from MIT's interdisciplinary project on innovation and production.

Previously, Rachel was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and she holds a M.Sc. with Distinction in European Political Economy: Transition from the London School of Economics. She is a graduate of the Honors College at the University of Arizona and with a B.A. in Economics, a B.A. in English with Honors, and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Russian Studies, German Studies, and Political Science).