You are now in the main content area
Sanjay Ruparelia - headshot

Sanjay Ruparelia

Associate Professor, Jarislowsky Democracy Chair
EducationPhD (Politics): Cambridge
Phone(416) 979-5000 x 555190


Dr. Sanjay Ruparelia is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, and holds the Jarislowsky Democracy Chair, made possible by a generous donation from the Jarislowsky Foundation.

In addition to a PhD in Politics from the University of Cambridge, Dr. Ruparelia holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours-Political Science) from McGill University and a Master of Philosophy (Sociology and Politics of Development) from the University of Cambridge.

Prior to joining the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, Dr. Ruparelia was Associate Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research.  Prior to the New School, he was assistant director of the South Asia Institute, a lecturer at Columbia University, and served as a consultant to the United Nations.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • “‘Minimum government, maximum governance’: The restructuring of power in Modi’s India.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 38: 4 (December 2015): 755-775.
  • “India’s new rights agenda: Genesis, promises, risks.” Pacific Affairs 86:3 (September 2013): 569-590.
  • “A progressive juristocracy? The unexpected social activism of India’s Supreme Court.” Kellogg Institute for International Studies – Working Paper #391, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, February 2013: 1-55.
    • Revised and submitted as “A semi-progressive juristocracy: The unexpected social activism of the Indian Supreme Court” (under review)
  • “How the politics of recognition enabled India’s democratic exceptionalism.” International Journal for Politics, Culture and Society 21:4 – Special Issue on the Work of Charles Taylor (December 2008): 39-56.
  • “Rethinking institutional theories of political moderation: The case of Hindu nationalism in India, 1996-2004.” Comparative Politics 38:3 (April 2006): 317-337.
  • “Managing the United Progressive Alliance: The challenges ahead.” Economic & Political Weekly 40:24 (11 June 2005): 2407-2413.


  • The Indian Ideology: Three Responses to Perry Anderson (with Partha Chatterjee, Sudipta Kaviraj, Nivedita Menon).  New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd., 2015.
    • An earlier version appeared as “Critical Reflections on Perry Anderson, The Indian Ideology.” Constellations, 21: 2 (June 2014): 162-198.
  • Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India (London: Hurst & Company; New York and Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015. Note: Reviews were published in:
    • Journal of Asian Studies (August 2018)
    • Asian Affairs (May 2017)
    • Economic & Political Weekly (March 2017)
    • Pacific Affairs (March 2017)
    • Political Studies Review (February 2017)
    • History and Sociology of South Asia (January 2017)
    • Studies in Indian Politics (December 2016)
    • The Book Review (September 2016)
    • Mainstream (15 August 2016)
    • Seminar # 680 (April 2016)
    • Foreign Affairs (March/April 2016)
  • Understanding India’s New Political Economy: A Great Transformation? (ed. with Sanjay Reddy, John Harriss and Stuart Corbridge).  London: Routledge, 2011. Note: Reviews were published in:
    • Pacific Affairs (March 2013)
    • Progress in Development Studies (January 2014),
    • Contemporary South Asia (January 2014),
    • Commonwealth & Comparative Politics (September2014)

Book Chapters

  • “Contesting the right to law: Courts and constitutionalism in India and China.” In Beyond Regimes: China and India Compared, ed. Prasenjit Duara and Elizabeth Perry, 99-142.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018.
  • “Growth, reforms and inequality: Comparing India and China” (with Lopamudra Banerjee, Ashwini Deshpande, Yan Ming, Vamsicharan Vakulabharanam and Wei Zhong).  In Transformation and Development: the political economy of transition in India and China Amiya, ed. K. Bagchi and Anthony P. D’Costa, 173-198.  New Delhi: Oxford University Press: 2012.
  • “Introduction: India’s transforming political economy” (with Stuart Corbridge, John Harriss, and Sanjay Reddy).  In Understanding India’s New Political Economy, ed. Sanjay Ruparelia, Sanjay Reddy, John Harriss and Stuart Corbridge, 1-16.  London: Routledge, 2011.
  • “Expanding Indian democracy: The paradoxes of the third force.” In Understanding India’s New Political Economy, ed. Sanjay Ruparelia, Sanjay Reddy, John Harriss and Stuart Corbridge, 186-203.  London: Routledge, 2011.
  • “Democratic India and authoritarian East Asia: Are economic and political systems converging?” In Responsible Development: vulnerable democracies, hunger and inequality Omar Noman, 167-191. London: Routledge, 2010.
  • “Governance and development in Afghanistan” (with Ruth Rennie).  In State Building, Security and Social Change in Afghanistan: Reflections on a Survey of the Afghan People, ed. Ruth Rennie, 113-140.  Kabul: The Asia Foundation, 2008.
  • “Local perceptions of the state of Afghanistan.” In State Building, Political Progress, and Human Security in Afghanistan: Reflections on a Survey of the Afghan people, ed.George Varughese, 29-47.  Kabul: The Asia Foundation, 2007.
  • “The temptations of presidentialism.” In Rethinking Indian Political Institutions, ed. Subho Basu and Crispin Bates, 21-38.  London: Anthem Press, 2005.

Book reviews

  • Review of Why Regional Parties? Clientelism, Elites and the Indian Party System by Adam Ziegfeld (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016): 310pp.  Pacific Affairs92:1 (March 2019): 165-167.
  • Review of Minority Governments in India: The Puzzle of Elusive Majorities by Csaba Nikolenyi. (New York: Routledge, 2009): 192pp.  Pacific Affairs 84:3 (September 2011): 594-596.
  • Review of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey D. Sachs with a foreword by Bono (New York: Penguin Press, 2005): 320 pp. Ethics & International Affairs 20:3 (September 2006): 396-400.
  • Review of Wages of Freedom: Fifty Years of the Indian Nation-State ed. by Partha Chatterjee (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) 338 pp.  Interventions 2:2 (2000): 285-287.

Papers and reports

  • Reframing Canada’s Global Engagement: Ten Strategic Choices for Decision-Makers, external link.  Participant/Co-Signatory. Global Canada, September 2020.
  • “Modi’s saffron democracy.” Dissent (Spring 2019): 92-104.
  • “Progress despite regression: A study of the National Rural Health Mission in India, 2005-2018.” Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, December 2018), 68 pp.
  • “The role of judgment in explanations of politics.” Political Methodology Working Paper29.  International Political Science Association (IPSA) Committee on Concepts & Methods, May 2010.
  • “Capacity, policy and accountability for sustainable human development: a conceptual framework.” Background paper for the Development Effectiveness Report 2003. New York: United Nations Development Programme Evaluation Office, 2003.
  • “Turning names into things: an examination of notions of culture in contemporary political discourse.” McGill Journal of Political Studies 14 (Spring 1995): 45-79.

Work in progress: Books

  • A New Path to Welfare: rights and constitutionalism in the global South (provisional title)
  • Contesting a Right to Welfare: law, citizenship and accountability in India (provisional title)
  • Oxford Encyclopedia for Asian Politics (Associate Editor)

Work in Progress: Papers

  • “Social welfare rights in India: a critical analysis of their implementation, 2004-2019”
  • “Paths to equality in India since independence” (for Asian Survey special issue)
  • “The erosion of contemporary Indian democracy” (for Journal of Asian Studies special issue)
  • “Rights and the rule of law under Modi”
  • “A new route to welfare: rights and constitutionalism in the global South”
  • “Reconfigurations of development in the global South”
  • “Struggling to see: the politics of sight in contemporary Indian welfare”
  • “Defeat in victory? The judicial battle against political corruption in contemporary India

Dr. Ruparelia's research addresses the politics of democracy, equality and development in the postcolonial world, as well as the role of parties, movements and institutions in politics.

He is currently preparing two book manuscripts, provisionally titled Contesting a Right to Welfare: Law, Citizenship and Accountability in India and A New Path to Welfare: Rights and Constitutionalism in the Global South. The first examines the role, successes and failures of lawyers, activists and judges in advancing rights claims, socioeconomic welfare and political accountability in the world’s largest democracy since the 1970s. The second compares India’s experience vis-à-vis analogous developments in China, South Africa and Brazil. It is part of a wider research agenda that analyzes the causes and ramifications of the countries' respective trajectories in the evolving world order.