About the Panelists

Liberal State

Keynote Speech: Genealogies of distributed sovereignty in the Indian Ocean world.

Thomas Blom-Hansen: Thomas Blom-Hansen is the Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University and the director of the Center for South Asia at Stanford.
He has done extensive work on the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, Hindu-Muslim conflicts, urban politics and social dynamics in Mumbai, the anthropology of the state, configurations of de facto sovereignty in the post colonial world, as well as township life, religious revival, melancholia, memory and cultural politics among Indians in post-apartheid South Africa.
He is the author of The Saffron Wave. Democracy and Hindu nationalism in modern India (Princeton University Press 1999); Wages of Violence. Naming and identity in postcolonial Bombay (Princeton University Press 2001); Cool Passion. The Political Theology of Modern Convictions (Amsterdam University Press 2009) and Melancholia of Freedom. Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa. (Princeton University Press 2012) plus numerous articles.
He is the co-editor of several edited volumes and special issues, among them States of Imagination. Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State (with F. Stepputat) (Duke University Press 2001) and Sovereign Bodies. Citizens, Migrants and States in the Postcolonial World (with F. Stepputat) (Princeton University Press 2005). He is also the editor of “South Asia in Motion”, a new book series from Stanford University Press.


Panel 1: The Weberian State and its Challengers

Steffen Hertog: Steffen Hertog is an associate professor of comparative politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests include Gulf politics, Middle East political economy, political violence and radicalization and he has published in journals such as World Politics, Review of International Political Economy, Comparative Studies in Society and History, European Journal of Sociology and International Journal of Middle East Studies. His book about Saudi state-building, “Princes, Brokers and Bureaucrats: Oil and State in Saudi Arabia” was published by Cornell University Press in 2011. He is the co-author, with Diego Gambetta, of “Engineers of Jihad: the Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education” (with Princeton University Press 2016).

Sharath Srinivasan: Sharath Srinivasan is Director of the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights and the David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies. He is also a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. He co-founded and is director of Africa’s Voices Foundation, a UK registered charity spun out of many years of research at Cambridge that utilises new digital communications and cutting-edge social and data science methods to support governments and development actors to reach and listen to diverse and dispersed populations. Dr Srinivasan has also worked in and conducted research on Sudan and South Sudan for over a decade. His book, ‘When Peace Kills Politics: International intervention and recurrent war in the Sudans’ is forthcoming with Hurst & Co and Oxford University Press in 2017

Anatol Lieven: Anatol Lieven teaches International Politics at Georgetown University in Qatar. He received a BA in History (double first) and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. Before joining academia, he spent most of his career as a foreign correspondent for British newspapers, and later as a member of think tanks in Washington DC. Between 2007 and 2014 he worked in the War Studies Department of King’s College London, where he remains a visiting professor. His main project at present is a book on the history of the Pashtun ethnicity in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the context of the wider history and theoretical analysis of modern nationalism (commissioned by Yale University Press).
His taught courses at Georgetown in Qatar include international security issues; US foreign policy; war and diplomacy in Afghanistan and South Asia; comparative political systems and the history, theory and comparative study of nationalism. He is author of numerous books, including Pakistan: A Hard Country (2012); America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (second edition 2012); and Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry (1999).


Panel 2: Ethnicity, Social Justice and Urbanization

Zoha Waseem: Zoha Waseem is a doctoral candidate at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and is presently researching on urban policing in Karachi, Pakistan. Her research interests also include security studies, urban violence, South Asian security, religious militancy, terrorism and organized crime. She holds a postgraduate degree in M.A. Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London and an undergraduate degree in Law (L.L.B.) from the School of Oriental and African studies in London, UK.

Uday Chandra: Uday Chandra is an Assistant Professor of Government. He received his B.A. in economics from Grinnell College and his PhD in political science from Yale University in 2013. He received the 2013 Sardar Patel Award for writing the best dissertation in a US university on any aspect of modern South Asia. Before coming to Doha, he held a prestigious research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Goettingen, Germany. Uday's research lies at the intersection between critical agrarian studies, political anthropology, postcolonial theory, and South Asian studies He is interested in state-society relations, power and resistance, political violence, agrarian change, rural-urban migration, popular religion, and the philosophy of the social sciences.
Uday's work has been published in the Law & Society Review, Interventions, Critical Sociology, Social Movement Studies, New Political Science, The Journal of Contemporary Asia, Contemporary South Asia, and the Indian Economic & Social History Review. He has co-edited volumes and journal special issues on the ethics of self-making in modern South Asia, subaltern politics and the state in contemporary India, caste relations in colonial and postcolonial eastern India, and social movements in rural India today.

Islam Hassan: Islam Hassan is a research analyst at the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar. As a critic and scholar, his work centers around Persian Gulf studies, and the comparative politics and international relations of West Asia and North Africa. His latest publications include: "The State of Middle Eastern Youth" (a special issue ofThe Muslim World which he co-edited), "GCC's 2014 Crisis: Causes, Issues and Solutions" (in Arabic and English with Al Jazeera Research Center, 2015), and “Jordan on the Brink,” in the International Journal of Culture and History (co-authored).

Panel 3: Civil Society, Mirgation and Social Development

Shandana Mohmand: Shandana Khan Mohmand is a Fellow in the Governance Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Her research is interdisciplinary and comparative, and she has conducted original research in countries in South Asia and the Western Balkans using varied and mixed methodological strategies. Her main area of interest is the political economy of public policy and service delivery, focused mainly around empirical analyses of local politics, informal institutions and decentralisation. She has contributed to both policy and social science research in these areas. A large part of this work empirically analyses the impact of clientelism, non-state actors, colonial history and social structures on voting behavior and electoral politics in Pakistan. 

Sana Tariq: Sana Tariq is an undergraduate student majoring in International Politics at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Her research interests include state development, nation-building, and foreign aid and intervention, with a regional focus on East and Central Africa. Her dissertation is entitled "The national welfarism and international aid nexus in Tanzania."

Amelia Fauzia: Amelia Fauzia is a Senior Research Fellow in the Religion and Globalisation Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She is also a lecturer at faculty of Arts and Humanities, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr Fauzia received her PhD from the University of Melbourne (2009), looking at contestation between state and Muslim civil society in the practice of Islamic philanthropy. Her dissertation was published by EJ Brill entitles Faith and the State, A History of Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia (2013). She holds a Master in Islamic Studies from the University of Leiden (1998), working on Islam and Javanese messianic movements of the 19th-20th century Java. She has taught and conducted research related to Islamic history of Indonesia, contemporary issues of Islam in Indonesia, and Islamic philanthropy. Dr Fauzia’s ongoing research is on Islam, NGOs, and humanitarianism by looking at the networks of Islamic philanthropy in Southeast Asia.

Panel 4: Neoliberal Development and its Alternatives

Pranab Bardhan: Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Graduate School at the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was educated at Presidency College, Kolkata and Cambridge University, England. He had been at the faculty of MIT, Indian Statistical Institute and Delhi School of Economics before joining Berkeley. At different times he was Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and London School of Economics. He held the Distinguished Fulbright Siena Chair at the University of Siena, Italy in 2008-9. He was the BP Centennial Professor at London School of Economics for 2010 and 2011.
He has done theoretical and field studies research on rural institutions in poor countries, on political economy of development policies, and on international trade and globalization. A part of his work is in the interdisciplinary area of economics, political science, and social anthropology. He was Chief Editor of the Journal of Development Economics for 1985-2003. He was the co-chair of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on the Effects of Inequality on Economic Performance for 1996-2007.He is the author of 14 books and editor of 12 other books, and author of more than 150 journal articles. More details are available at his website: http://eml.berkeley.edu/~webfac/bardhan/bardhan.htm

Lamia Karim: Lamia Karim is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon. Her work is on political anthropology with a focus on gender. She is the author of Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh (2011). She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Becoming Labor: Women in the Garment Industry in Bangladesh. Her research interests are in globalization, development, gender, labor, social movements, and Islam in South Asia. Currently she is a Research Fellow at Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History/re:work at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira: Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, a fellow of St Peter’s College, and a fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. He is Senior Associate Researcher at the Christian Michelsen Institute in Bergen. He is the author of Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola Since the Civil War (2015) and Oil and Politics in the Gulf of Guinea (2007) and the co-editor of China Returns to Africa (2008, with Chris Alden and Daniel Large) and The New Protectorates: International Tutelage and the Making of Liberal States (2012, with James Mayall).  Soares de Oliveira has worked in the field of governance and the extractive industries for the World Bank, the European Commission, Catholic Relief Services, NDI and Oxfam. His commentary has been published in the New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, foreignaffairs.com, Politico and the Financial Times. Soares de Oliveira has been the recipient of a Leverhulme Trust fellowship, a Visiting Professor at Sciences Po in Paris, a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a visiting fellow at Yale University.

Chua Beng Huat: Chua Beng Huat is Provost Chair Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Science and has served as Research Leader, Cultural Studies in Asia Research Cluster, Asia Research Institute (2000-2015); Convenor Cultural Studies Programmes (2008-2013) and Head, the Department of Sociology (2009-2015), National University of Singapore. He has held visiting professorships at universities in Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and the US. His research areas include comparative politics in S.E.Asia, communitarianism, urban and housing policies and Cultural Studies in Asia.
His book publications include: as author, The Golden Shoe: Building Singapore’s Financial District, Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore, Political Legitimacy and Housing: Stakeholding in Singapore, Structure, Audience and Soft Power in East Asian Pop Culture and (forthcoming), Liberalism Disavowed: communitarianism and state capitalism in Singapore; as editor, Consumption in Asia: lifestyles and identities, Communitarian Politics in Asia, Elections as Popular Culture in Asia, (Co-editor, Chen Kuan-Hsing) Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Reader, East Asia Pop Culture: Analysing the Korean Wave. He is founding co-executive editor of the journal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.

Panel 5: The Geopolitics of the Indian Ocean

Rana Mitter: Rana Mitter is Deutsche Bank Director of the University China Centre at the University of Oxford, where he is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which China’s War with Japan, 1937-45: The Struggle for Survival (Penguin, 2013: US title: Forgotten Ally) won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, was named as a 2013 Book of the Year in the Financial Times and the Economist and was named a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title.  In the UK he is a regular presenter of the arts and ideas programme Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3. He comments regularly on contemporary Chinese politics and society in media around the world, including regular columns for the South China Morning Post, and his reviews and essays have appeared in newspapers including the Financial Times, International New York Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Caijing, and Outlook (India).  He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2015.

Paula Newberg: Paula Newberg’s work focuses on the intersections between human rights, democratic governance and foreign policy in crisis and transition states, with particular focus on south and central Asia.  A scholar and practitioner with wide-ranging experience in multilateral and nongovernmental organizations, Dr. Newberg served as Special Advisor to the United Nations in Asia, Europe and Africa.  She was a Senior Associate the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she co-founded its Democracy Project, and was a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.  Prior to coming to UT-Austin, she was the Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.  Dr. Newberg has written extensively on constitutional development and jurisprudence in Pakistan, the politics of assistance in and to conflict and post-conflict states, and rights in conditions of insurgency.  The author and/or editor of eight books and monographs, her current interests include governance and complex emergencies and climate change in south, central and southwest Asia. A former contributing columnist for The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, and Yale Global Online, she is an advisor to a number of nonprofit organizations working in the rights and democracy fields. 


Panel 6: Religion, Nationalism, and Conflict

William Reno: William Reno is Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, where he is also Director of the Program of African Studies. His research interests include causes of political violence, comparisons of political violence in Africa with political violence elsewhere, the organization and behavior of insurgent groups, and the politics of authoritarian regimes. He is the author of the books Warfare in Independent Africa, Warlord Politics and African States, and Corruption and State Politics. Reno has also published articles most recently in the American Historical Review, Civil Wars, and Comparative Social Research, and his work has also been featured in several edited volumes. His current research examines the organization and behavior of armed groups in the social context of state collapse.

Michael Woldemariam: Michael Woldemariam is an assistant professor of international relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies. He also serves on BU’s graduate faculty of political science and as a faculty affiliate at the African Studies Center.  He previously worked as a research specialist with Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies program, and held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC and Penn State’s Africana Research Center.
Woldemariam’s teaching and research interests are in African security studies, with a particular focus on armed conflict in the Horn of Africa. His current book project focuses on the evolution and behavior of insurgent groups in the region. His most recent scholarly articles have been published in the journals Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Terrorism and Political Violence, and Journal of Strategic Studies. In addition to his scholarly work, Woldemariam has consulted with a wide variety of international organizations and governments, primarily on issues related to security in the Greater Horn of Africa and insurgent warfare.

James Onley: James Onley is an Honorary Research Fellow at the IAIS, Visiting Associate Professor of Gulf History and Heritage at Qatar University's Gulf Studies Center, and the founding Editor of the Journal of Arabian Studies (Routledge) and the Britain and the World book series (Palgrave Macmillan).  He was Director of the Exeter Centre for Gulf Studies during 2005–2012.  He specializes in Gulf history, heritage, culture, society, and politics.  Prior to entering academia, he served in the Canadian Army for 12 years and was a UN peacekeeper in Iraq at the end of the Iran–Iraq War (1988).