Politics and International Relations

Affiliation: Politics

Post: Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, Fellow, St. Antony's College

E-mail:  sarmila.bose [AT] politics.ox.ac.uk

College: St Antony's College

Office Address:  St. Antony's College

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Dr Sarmila Bose (AB (Bryn Mawr) MPA PhD (Harvard))

Post: Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, Fellow, St. Antony's College


Sarmila Bose is an academic and practitioner with principal interests in the politics and public policies of South Asia. Her current work is on the practice of democracy in India, and conflict and governance issues of the frontier “tribal” areas of India and Pakistan. She recently completed a major study of the 1971 war in South Asia. She teaches and supervises undergraduate and graduate students. She was the inaugural Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the Department of Politics and International Relations from 2006 to 2008. She received her AB in History from Bryn Mawr College and the MPA and PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. She has taught and held research positions at Harvard, George Washington University, University of Warwick and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and was assistant editor and senior political writer at the ABP Group of newspapers in India for several years, writing in English and Bengali.

Research Areas and Interests

Politics of South Asia (principally India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)

Democracy: electoral politics and public policy issues in India

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate teaching: tutorials and classes in 'Politics in South Asia'; politics prelims lectures research methods

Graduate teaching: supervision MPhil and DPhil theses in comparative politics; option 'Comparative Politics of South Asia' in MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies




Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War , Hurst and Co. and Columbia University Press, 2011


Jyotibabur Pashchimbanga: ekti adhapataner adhyay (Bengali – an analysis of the decline of Bengal in 25 years of Communist rule), Ananda Publishers, 2001


Money, Energy and Welfare: the State and the Household in India’s Rural Electrification Policy, Oxford University Press, 1993


Book Chapters, Articles, Reviews


‘Echoes of empire in the development of democracy in South Asia’ (in Nicolaidis and Sebe, ed., Echoes of Colonialisms: Re-thinking European Imperial Legacies, forthcoming)


‘The Question of Genocide: Violence in the 1971 War and its Implications’, Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 13, No. 4, 2011


‘Three Turbulent Years: Re-appraisal of the Yahya Regime 1969-71’ (in R D Long ed. History of Pakistan, Oxford University Press, forthcoming)


‘News as Entertainment: the Rise of Global Infotainment’, Global Media and Communication, Vol. 5, No. 1, 116-118, April 2009


'Losing the Victims: Problems of Using Women as Weapons in Recounting the Bangladesh War', Economic and Political Weekly, vol. XLII, No. 38, 22-28 September 2007


'Losing the Victims', EPW v 42 no. 38 (2007).pdf


‘Bangladesh: Troubled Future’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4 March 2006


‘The Northeast Exception’, The Hindu, 22 November 2005


‘Anatomy of Violence: Analysis of Civil War in East Pakistan in 1971’, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 40, No. 41, 8-14 October 2005


Anatomy of Violence, EPW v 40, no. 41 (2005).pdf


‘Love in the Time of War: Subhas Chandra Bose’s Journeys to Nazi Germany (1941) and towards the Soviet Union (1945)’, Economic & Political Weekly, vol. 40, No. 3, 15-21 January 2005

'Love in the Time of War', EPW v 40 no. 3 (2005).pdf


‘India’s Cause is Ireland’s Cause: Elite Links and Nationalist Politics’, with E. Ward, in M. Holmes and D. Holmes, ed., Ireland and India: Connections, Comparisons, Contrasts, Folens Press, Dublin, 1997




‘The Question of Genocide: Violence in the 1971 War and its Implications’, (2nd Global Conference on Genocide, International Network of Genocide Scholars, University of Sussex, 28 June – 1 July 2010)


‘Changing Contours of Media in India’ (Keynote address, roundtable at launch of India Media Centre, University of Westminster, London, 9 March 2010)


‘Towards a comparative analysis of Pakistan’s North West and India’s North East’, (Workshop, DPIR, Oxford, 25 November 2009)


'Energy, Insecurity and Long-term Armed Conflict: the Political Economy of Assam and Baluchistan' (38th South Asia conference, Madison, October 2009)


‘Journalism and ‘Soft Power’: Between Conflict Coverage and Media Diplomacy’ (plenary speaker, ‘Journalism in the 21st Century: Between Globalization and National Identity’, University of Melbourne, July 2009)


‘South Asia’s Politics: Can Undemocratic Democracies Work?’ (Royal Commonwealth Society, Oxford, April 2008)


‘The US-India Nuclear Agreement: Press and Politics of a “Historic” Strategic Re-alignment’, (49th ISA conference, San Francisco, March 2008)



Selected Commentary and Feature Articles (in English)


'Mau Mau to Midnapore: confronting the brutality of empire', Aljazeera, 24 January 2013



'Chagos: heart of an American empire?' Aljazeera, 15 March 2012



'Suu Kyi's choice', Aljazeera, 23 January 2012



'Sick Men of South Asia,' Newsweek Pakistan, 23 December 2011

'Murder Most Foul', The Telegraph, 27 March 2011

'A far better option', The Telegraph, 7 April 2010



'Indians will vote, but will they really have democracy?', The Times, 10 April 2009



‘The truth about the Jessore massacre’, Feature, The Telegraph, 19 March 2006
‘Left Behind – by Bangladesh’, Insight, The Telegraph, 2 October 2005
‘The Right Stuff: F-16s to Pakistan is Wise Decision’, with W. B. Milam, Christian Science Monitor, 11 April 2005

‘Organizing a Party’, The Telegraph, 13 July 2004
‘Did Anybody Win?’ The Telegraph, 20 May 2004
‘Border Shaming Force’, Indian Express, 24 April 2004
‘Andhra Burning’, Insight, The Telegraph, 18 April 2004
‘Permanent Membership Not for India’, Business Standard, 27 November 2003
‘Can Gujarat Happen to Bengal?’, The Telegraph, 29 April 2003
‘Hindutva’s Willing Executioners’, The Telegraph, 10 December 2002
‘The Great Gujarat Experiment’, The Telegraph, 1 April 2002
‘A Tale of Two Shahs’, The Telegraph, 30 January 2002
'Enough Guilt for Everyone', The Spectator, 19 August 1995

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