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Alexander Lee, University of Rochester

Alexander Lee earned his PhD from Stanford and his BA from Yale. His research focuses on the factors governing the success or failure of political institutions. In particular, his work focuses on the historical evolution of state capacity, the political economy of South Asia, the causes and consequences of identity politics, and bureaucratic politics.  His work uses quantitative methods, historical sources, and fieldwork in rural India and has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, International Organization and the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, among other outlets. His book, Development in Multiple Dimensions: Social Power and Regional Policy in India is available from the University of Michigan Press. His book From Hierarchy to Ethnicity: The Politics of Caste in Twentieth-Century India is available from Cambridge University Press in India and the United States. His book The Cartel System of States: An Economic Theory of International Politics will be available from Oxford University Press in December 2022.

Ashutosh Varshney, Brown University (Chair)

Ashutosh Varshney is Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia. Previously, he taught at Harvard (1989-98) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2001-2008). His books include Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy (2013), Collective Violence in Indonesia (2009), Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India (Yale 2002), India in the Era of Economic Reforms (1999), and Democracy, Development and the Countryside: Urban-Rural Struggles in India (Cambridge 1995). The awards based on his research include the Guggenheim fellowship, the Carnegie Fellowship, the Gregory Luebbert Prize, and the Daniel Lerner Prize. He has also won research grants, among others, from the Ford Foundation, Social Science Research Council,  U.S. Institute of Peace, Open Society Foundation, and Indian Council of Social Science Research.

His research and teaching cover three areas: Ethnicity and Nationalism; Political Economy of Development; and South Asian Politics and Political Economy. His academic papers have appeared in World Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Daedalus, Journal of Development Studies, World Development, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Democracy, Journal of East Asian Studies, Foreign Affairs, and Economic and Political Weekly. In addition to professional journals, he also contributes guest columns to newspapers and magazines and is a contributing editor to the Indian Express. He is currently working on three projects; a multi-country project on cities and ethnic conflict; political economy of urbanization in India; and Indian politics and society between elections. He served on the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Millennium Task Force on Poverty (2002-5). He has also served as an adviser to the World Bank, UNDP and the Club of Madrid.

This event is part of the Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics series.

Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Pol­i­tics co-sponsored by the Saxena Center for Contemporary South Asia at the Wat­son Insti­tute at Brown Uni­ver­sity, the Weath­er­head Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs and South Asia Institute at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, and the MIT Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Studies.