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 postdoctoral researcher 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. This research builds 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 a violence-centric perspective. This research should sit at the same level of theoretical and, more importantly, 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.
Raphael welcomes PhD proposals that concern popular politics, religion and/or the political economy of contemporary South Asia.
See Raphael's research profile