Prof. Sunil Khilnani

Professor of Politics
Director of the India Institute, King’s College London
Author of ‘The Idea of India’

Prof. Sunil Khilnani is the Director of the King's College London's India Institute and Professor of Politics since June 2011.

Sunil Khilnani’s research interests lie at the intersection of various fields: intellectual history and the study of political thought, the history of modern India, democratic theory in relation to its recent non-Western experiences, the politics of contemporary India, and strategic thought in the definition of India’s place in the world.

He was born in New Delhi and grew up in India, Africa, and Europe. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he took a first in Social and Political Sciences, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained his PhD in Social and Political Sciences.

Prior to becoming Director of the King’s India Institute he was, from 2001 to 2011, the Starr Foundation Professor at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C., and Director of South Asia Studies at SAIS, a programme that he established in 2002.

Sunil Khilnani was formerly Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has been a visiting professor of politics at Seikei University, Tokyo, and was elected a Research Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge. He has also held a Leverhulme Fellowship, and has been a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, and a Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.

He has served as a member of several editorial boards, including Economy and Society, Critique Internationale, and the Political Quarterly, and is a member of the Scientific Council of the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes, th