Department of International Relations


International Relations (IR) as a discipline is poised at an exciting global conjuncture for at least two principal reasons. Firstly, an interest in big questions is evident in terms of a renewed attention to systemic power transitions. Quite evidently, hitherto neglected parts of the world in terms of scholarship today merit far greater attention. Asia more generically and South Asia more specifically also qualify for this consideration given their sheer scale in terms of global demographics and the corresponding importance of livelihoods of people from the region to global well-being.


Secondly, and arguably more significantly there is also a simultaneous plea for making International Relations as a discipline much more inclusive and less ethnocentric in character. The challenge takes the form of novel, interdisciplinary and contextual approaches to the study of both theory and empirics within specific regional constellations such as South Asia. The Department of International Relations at the South Asian University while attentive to the global lineage(s) of ideas and practices in world politics seeks to widen our appreciation of the content of the international by interrogating intellectual traditions within South Asia as embedded in the larger Asia. Simultaneously, there is an interest in engaging with comparative regional histories of globalization in continents such as Latin America and Africa. The intent is not to simplistically extol the virtues of one kind of knowledge to the detriment of the other but on the contrary to enrich our notion of the international by actively participating in a lively global conversation aimed at critically scrutinizing dominant discourses within the discipline afresh.


The faculty of the Department share wide-ranging research interests. These encompass both mainstream theories and critical approaches to the study of International Relations, disciplinary histories of IR, global political economy concerns and international normative political theory. Colleagues also pursue teaching and research interests in security and strategic studies, peace and conflict-resolution approaches, the study of regional and international organisations, identity politics and the links between cognition and world politics. Collectively, we share an abiding curiosity with regard to all facets that have a bearing on the overall texture of politics in South Asia. Popular culture in South Asia as relates to cinema, music, cuisine, dress and languages would for instance squarely fall within our broad ambit of interest. We ultimately seek to build a community of scholars who normatively share an ontology and consciousness of being simultaneously both South Asian and global citizens. We invite you to embark on what promises to be a stimulating and timely intellectual journey.

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