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Niraja Gopal Jayal joined King’s India Institute as Avantha Chair in October 2021. She was formerly Professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and presently also Centennial Professor (2019-23) at The London School of Economics, in the Department of Gender Studies.

Her book Citizenship and Its Discontents (Harvard University Press and Permanent Black, 2013) won the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association of Asian Studies in 2015. She is also the author of Representing India: Ethnic Diversity and the Governance of Public Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Democracy and the State: Welfare, Secularism and Development in Contemporary India (OUP, 1999). She has co-edited The Oxford Companion to Politics in India, and edited, among several others, Democracy in India (OUP, 2001) and Re-Forming India: The Nation Today. (Penguin Random House, 2019) Her most recent book is Citizenship Imperilled: India’s Fragile Democracy (Permanent Black).

Jayal delivered the Radhakrishnan Memorial Lectures at All Souls College, Oxford in 2009, and was Vice-President of the American Political Science Association. (2011-12). During her career she has held visiting appointments at, among others, Princeton University, King’s College, London, and the EHESS, Paris.


Professor Jayal undertakes research in the fields of citizenship, democracy and welfare in India.