Raphael is a political anthropologist of urban India with degrees in political science, area studies and a PhD in sociology/social anthropology. Before joining King's, he was a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen and an associate at the Contemporary South Asia Studies Program in Oxford.
Broadly speaking, Raphael studies popular politics, religious conflict, the political economy of corruption and urban development in North India, building on ethnographic, statistical and spatial data generated over 19 months of fieldwork since 2008, primarily amongst the country's large and diverse Muslim population. He has also written research software, curates a comprehensive public repository of statistics on religion and politics in India and contributes to open data initiatives.
His overarching aim with his research is to lift the study of Muslim South Asia, which has long been caught in ideological readings and a partition – or at least violence-centric perspective, to the same level of theoretical as well as, crucially, methodological sophistication that characterises the study of non-Muslim sociality. In the long run, studying how Muslim Indians navigate wider social change within the context of the world's largest secular democracy should also help to rebut persistent claims of Muslim exceptionalism in global academic, as well as popular discourse.
For a full list of publications, please see Raphael's research profile.
Raphael welcomes PhD proposals that concern popular politics, religion and/or the political economy of contemporary South Asia.
Vanita Falcao, 'Food Security in India: Sub-nationalism and rights-based social policy' (2017- )
Please see Raphael's Research Staff Profile for further details.