Steven I. Wilkinson

Yale University
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Political Science

Steven I. Wilkinson is Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Yale University, where he currently chairs the Political Science department. Before coming to Yale in 2009, he taught at the University of Chicago, where he also chaired the interdisciplinary Committee on South Asian Studies.

Wilkinson has worked on the causes of ethnic violence, and his first book, Votes and Violence: electoral competition and ethnic riots in India(Cambridge, 2004), examines the political roots of communal conflict in South Asia. That book was awarded the Woodrow Wilson prize of the American Political Science Association in 2005, for the best book on government, politics or international affairs. He is also interested in corruption in politics, and edited the book Patrons, Clients or Politics: Patterns of Political Accountability and Competition(Cambridge, 2007) with Herbert Kitschelt. Wilkinson’s most recent book isArmy and Nation, which came out in January 2015 from Harvard University Press (Permanent Black in South Asia), and uses archival data from India and the UK as well as post-independence sources to examine India’s success in managing the imbalanced colonial army it inherited in 1947. The book has been widely read in India as well as Pakistan, where in 2017 the new army chief recommended it to his commanders.

He is currently working with Saumitra Jha (Stanford GSB) on a book onWar and Political Change,the first part of which, on the role of veterans in the partition of India, was published in article form in the American Political Science Review. The next part of this project uses archival looks at the role of returned veterans from the American war of Independence in the French Revolution. 

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