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Louise Tillin

Dr Louise Tillin


Lecturer in Politics and Deputy Director, King's India Institute


Room: 1 SEB C, South East Block, top floor, Strand campus

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7053 

Office Hours in 2015-16: Wednesdays 10:30am to 12:30pm

Louise is a political scientist who works on politics, federalism and the political economy of development in contemporary India. 

Her research interests focus on:

  • Comparing subnational (state-level) political regimes in India
  • The politics of regionalism and federalism in India
  • The interface between electoral politics, institutions and policy processes, particularly social policy
  • The politics, and political economy, of policies to address food security and hunger

Her book, Remapping India: New States and their Political Origins was published in 2013 by Hurst & Co (London), Oxford University Press (New Delhi and New York), and Oxford Scholarship Online in 2014. This examines the paths to statehood of India’s newest states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand – and presents a framework for understanding the causes and consequences of the reorganisation of the internal borders of India’s federal system.

Louise is currently Principal Investigator of three research networks focused on different aspects of politics and political economy in contemporary India. The first, entitled Comparative State Politics and Public Policy in India, brings together the King’s India Institute and Lokniti/Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi under the auspices of a British Academy International Partnership (2011-14). As part of this programme, researchers are engaged in a series of comparative and collaborative research projects looking at the intersection between electoral politics and the formulation of social policy across Indian states (see project website for further details: ( 

The second network is entitled ‘Explaining Electoral Change in Urban and Rural India’ (EECURI) funded by the India-Europe research networking programme of the ESRC, ICSSR and ANR (2012-15). This project brings together a network of scholars at King’s, LSE, University of London, Sciences-Po, JNU, BR Ambedkar University (Lucknow) and the NGO Janaagraha to study changing patterns of electoral politics in contemporary India. 

The third partnership links the King’s India Institute, Center for South Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley and Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai, around the theme of the political economy of contemporary India, seeking to bring economists and political scientists into deeper conversation to rejuvenate the field of political economy. This initiative is a tri-lateral research partnership funded by the UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI; 2013-15).

In addition, Louise is a co-investigator on an ESRC Rising Powers project, ‘Expanding not Shrinking: The Politics of New Policies to Tackle Poverty and Inequality in Brazil, India, China and South Africa’ led by Professor James Manor at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.

Before coming to King’s, Louise was the Joyce Lambert Research Fellow in Politics at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has taught subjects including Indian Politics, the Political Economy of Development and Development anagement at Cambridge, LSE, SOAS, Sussex and the Open University. She completed her DPhil at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and was formerly a Thouron scholar in South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining academia, Louise worked in various roles in BBC News including as a South Asia analyst. 

remapping india
Louise Tillin Book  
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