Shivaji Mukherjee

Assistant Professor & holder of the Somjee Professorship in Indian Political Development
Political Science

Areas of interest

Research and Supervision Fields:


-South Asian Politics
-Colonial Legacies
-Civil War and Political Violence
-Qualitative and Mixed Methods
-Ethnic Violence

Teaching Streams
-Diplomacy, Defense and Development
-Public Policy and Democratic Governance


  • BA, University of Delhi
  • MA, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • PhD, Yale University


I work on political violence and conflict in India, and have done research on insurgencies in South Asia, particularly the Maoist insurgency, which is India’s longest lasting insurgency. I also have an interest in state formation, legacies of colonial institutions, and other types of political violence in South Asia like the Kashmir insurgency and Hindu-Muslim violence and vigilantism.

My research shows that historical legacies of state formation and land inequality matter to explain post-colonial insurgency and conflict, and urges the civil war scholarship to take history seriously. On this topic, I have published a book Colonial Institutions and Civil War: Indirect Rule and Maoist Insurgency in India (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and also have several articles on this topic in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, World Development, Asian Security. I have also published on insurgency and counter insurgency in journals like Civil Wars and Oxford Handbook of South Asian Security.

I am currently working on topics related to ethnic and religious violence and non-state actors, and another project on pre-colonial legacies and state formation in India.


2021. Colonial Institutions and Civil War: Indirect Rule and Maoist Insurgency in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Studies in Contentious Politics Series. (Books Awards: Honorable Mention for David Greenstone Prize for Best Book award, Politics and History Section, APSA.)

Journals / Working Paper Series
2022. Pre-Colonial Warfare and Long-Run Development in India, The Economic Journal, 132 (643): 981–1010 (co-authored with Dincecco, Fenske, Menon).

2021. Colonial Origins of Sons of the Soil Insurgency: Maoist Rebellion in Central India. Asian Security, 17 (3): 366-397.

2019. Colonial Legacies and Insurgency in India: Developing an instrument for colonial choice of indirect rule based on historical wars, CLIO: Newsletter of Politics and History Section, APSA, 29 (1), Winter 2019-2020).

2018. Historical Legacies of Colonial Indirect Rule: Princely States and Maoist insurgency in Central India. World Development, 111: 113-129.

2018. Colonial Origins of Maoist Insurgency in India: Historical Indirect Rule Institutions and Civil War. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 62 (10): 2232–74. (‘Honorable Mention’ for the Mary Parker Follett Prize for Best Article, Politics and History Section, APSA 2019)

2014. Why are the Longest Insurgencies Low Violence? Politician Motivations, Sons of the Soil and Civil War Duration, Civil Wars, 16 (2): 172–207.

Invited Publications in Handbooks
2017. Insurgency and counter insurgency in South Asia, in Sumit Ganguly, Joseph Liow and Andrew Scobell (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Asian Security Studies, 2nd edition. Routledge University Press.

2018. Insurgencies in India - Origins and Causes. In Sumit Ganguly, Manjeet Pardesi, Nicolas Blarel (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of India’s National Security. Oxford University Press.


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.