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Biography

I joined the department in September 2009 having previously taught at the UK Joint Services and Command and Staff College. In September 2012, my position as a Lecturer was divided between War Studies and the India Institute at King’s. Currently, I am the Program Director for the MA South Asia and Global Security core and optional course offered by both the War Studies Department and the India Institute. In the main, I am interested in the diplomatic and contemporary history of South Asia and specifically India. I completed my BA at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, MA at Exeter, and PhD in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.  

My new book: Forged in Crisis: India and the United States since 1947 was published in the UK (Hurst) in 2013 and in the US and South Asia (Oxford Univ. Press and Harper Collins respectively) in 2014. Reviews and endorsements so far include:

Financial Times: ‘This lucid and persuasive book offers a nuanced guide to the torturous curse of relations between two great powers.’ ‘Tapping newly available Indian archival materials and interviews with central diplomatic actors, Chaudhuri offers a fresh perspective on New Delhi’s efforts to reconcile its ideals of ‘non-alignment’ with pressing material needs.’

Kanti Bajpai, Professor and Vice Dean Research, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore: ‘This is the best book on India-US relations in the last twenty years, by a wide margin. It is incomparable in its probing, sensitive analysis, elegant writing, exhaustiveness, and the minute, archival-based empirical rendering of key episodes and periods.’

Shyam Saran, Chairman, Chairman, National Security Advisory Board and Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India: ‘Rudra Chaudhuri has challenged the conventional and simplistic narrative of India-US relations, putting it within a frame that explores both ideational as well as realpolitik drivers. The result is a much richer, more nuanced and more illuminating analysis that will be of great value to scholars, historians and diplomatic practitioners alike.’

Ian Hall, Senior Fellow in International Relations, Australian National University: ‘This eagerly awaited study more than delivers on its promise. Purposeful and scholarly, it provides a forensic analysis of the ideas that have shaped India’s interactions with the US since independence...This is a book that will provoke much more argument about the history of the relationship and its present condition for some time to come.’ 

My next ‘big’ project is writing a history of India and the world since 1919. More modest efforts in the immediate term include:

  1. Working on a shorter book on India and the Obama Years written for a trade press.
  2. Authoring a series of journal articles and essays on the 1965 India-Pakistan War.
  3. Working on the history of intelligence in India since 1947.
  4. Working on an edited volume on the strategic history of India.
  5. Producing a series of papers on the politics underlying reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. 

    Also, and together with colleagues in the department (principally Anatol Lieven and Theo Farrell) and the India Institute (Sunil Khilnani and Srinath Raghavan) I have served as a consultant to British Commanders in Afghanistan, worked closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a Program Director for confidential stakeholder conferences and workshops focussing on the economic and political future of Afghanistan, India-Pakistan relations, and the thorny issue of reconciliation with the Taliban. Such activities were supported by grants provided by the FCO and the ESRC. In addition, I am the Program Manager for a series of tailored Executive Education modules and Knowledge Transfer Workshops offered and delivered principally to the FCO and other government agencies in Europe, India and elsewhere.

Research

  • Strategic Theory and Culture
  • Strategic, Diplomatic, and Economic History of South Asia (post 1945)
  • History and Practice of Intelligence in South Asia
  • Contemporary History of Afghanistan
  • Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy

Teaching

Postgraduate

Undergraduate

Expertise and Public Engagement

I have worked both alone and with a variety of teams (with colleagues across disciplines, universities, and government departments) to help socialise ideas and contest ‘popular’ debates in and through public forums. Such activities include informing and being part of public discussions by way of television interviews or authoring opinion pieces (I write a monthly column for The Telegraph in India), organising and leading Knowledge Transfer Projects with and for government agencies and universities in the UK and India, managing funded projects to encourage public interaction, and speaking and lecturing at invite-only workshops and events.

 Further details

See Rudra's research profile