Professor James Manor

Contact details

Professor James Manor
BA (Yale), DPhil (Sussex)
Emeritus Professor of Commonwealth Studies
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU
020 7862 8825
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Contemporary History, Globalization & Development, Human rights, Local Government, Modern History , Political Institutions
Africa, Asia, South America
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Politics, development and state-society relations in less developed countries; contemporary South Asia (especially India); decentralisation; elections; politicians, political institutions and poverty

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Nov-2015 The Politics of Social Protection: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh


 in L.Tillin, R. Deshpande and K.K. Kailash (eds.) Politics of Welfare: Comparisons across Indian States (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2015) pp. 168-99.

01-Sep-2015 “India: The Struggle to Regenerate Democracy”


in W.P.Shiveley and P. Kurzer (eds.) Comparative Governance (McGraw Hill, New York, 2015).

01-Sep-2015 As Hierarchies Wane: Explaining Inter-Caste Accommodation in Rural India


in C. Bates, A. Tanabe and S. Das (eds.) Human and International Security in India since 1947 (Routledge, London and New Delhi, 2015).

05-May-2015 An Odisha Landslide Buries both National Parties: Assessing the State and Parliamentary Elections of 2014


Contemporary South Asia (June 2015) pp. 198-210. DOI:10.1080/09584935.2015.1019426

01-Sep-2014 Key Issues in the Study of State Politics in India


in J. Schottli (ed.) Politics in South Asia: Culture, Rationality and Conceptual Flow (Springer, Heidelberg, 2014).

01-Sep-2014 Foreword


in H.K. Nagarajan, H.P. Binswanger-Mkhize and S.S. Meenakshisundaram, Decentralization and Empowerment for Rural Development (Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2014

01-Jul-2011 Against the Odds: Politicians, Institutions and the Struggle against Poverty

with N. Ng'ethe and M. Melo

01-Jan-2010 "Prologue" to a new edition of: Rajni Kothari (ed.) Caste in Indian Politics.

Orient Blackswan (Longmans), New Delhi and London. This was a major undertaking -- to summarise changes in Indian politics and in the caste system over the last 25 years, and to analyse the interplay of these two things. This volume is THE classic text on the topic, so it was worth doing.

01-Jan-2010 "Local Government" in N. Jayal and P.B. Mehta (eds.) The Oxford Companion to Indian Politics

Oxford University Press, Delhi and London

01-Jan-2010 "Beyond Clientelism" in A.E. Ruud and P. Price (eds.) Leaders and Politics in South Asia

Routledge, London and New Delhi

01-Nov-2009 Broadening and Deepening Democracy: Political Innovation in Karnataka

Routledge, London and New Delhi

01-Jan-2007 'Aid that Works: Successful Development in Fragile States'

World Bank, Washington

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Nov-2015 Foreword


In the early 1990s, all but one Master’s degree programme on human rights in the world approached the topic from a narrowly legal perspective. They were mostly located in departments or schools of law. They had great virtues, as I had discovered when interacting with the programme at the Harvard Law School during the mid-1980s. But they largely omitted scholars from other disciplines – the social sciences, history, philosophy, etc. – who could offer crucial insights for a rounded understanding of human rights.

Additional Publications

Publications available in Senate House Libraries

Research Projects & Supervisions

Research projects:

Expanding Not Shrinking Social Programmes: Brazil, India, China, South Africa

This is a three-year ESRC funded research project (from 1 October 2012), with an 18-member international team which I am coordinating. We focus on the political and policy processes which have led governments in these four countries since about 2002 to increase efforts to tackle poverty and inequality -- and the implications of this trend.

Implications of the Declining Power of Caste Hierarchies in Rural India

This project, funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in New York, focuses on the implications for power dynamics of the declining power of caste hierarchies over rural dwellers' thinking and action. This is one of the most important changes to occur in India since independence in 1947, but very few scholars have analysed its implications.

Professional Affiliations


Name Type Activity Start date End date
International Centre for Local Democracy, Visby, Sweden International research related collaboration Member of International Steering Committee and lecturer at inaugural conference 01-Apr-2010
Visiting Professor, University of Pune, India I will pay visits to the university to interact with students and teachers who study society and politics in India. 01-Nov-2012 31-Oct-2013
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