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Sumitha Narayanan Kutty is a Leverhulme doctoral fellow in the Centre for Grand Strategy (CGS) at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She is also an adjunct research associate at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore and research fellow, Project SEPAD (Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation) at Lancaster University’s Richardson Institute. She works on issues related to security, foreign policy and rising powers with an empirical focus on South Asia, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific.

Sumitha’s doctoral work titled ‘Rising India and Military Intervention: Explaining the Post-Cold War Shift in Worldview’ is part of the “Interrogating Visions of a Post-Western World” programme at CGS. The study aims to contribute to our understanding of a critical non-Western view of the world order – the Indian view. It examines why India has shown reduced proclivity toward military intervention after the Cold War despite significant growth in material capabilities.

She is co-editor (with Rajesh Basrur) of India and Japan: Assessing the Strategic Partnership (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), has published in journals such as International Politics, The Washington Quarterly and Asia Policy and her expert commentary featured on Bloomberg, Channel News Asia, The Diplomat, The National Interest, Lawfare, South Asian Voices, The Hindu and Hindustan Times among other outlets. Sumitha has extensive fieldwork experience including in Iran, Israel, UAE, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the strategic island states of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. She has previous stints at think tanks RSIS (Singapore), the Takshashila Institution (India), World Resources Institute (USA), the Atlantic Council (USA) and worked as a broadcast journalist in India. Sumitha holds multiple degrees in journalism (St. Aloysius College and Asian College of Journalism, India) and a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University, USA.


Primary Supervisor: Dr Walter Ladwig