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Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Professor Gurharpal Singh

BSc Econ (London), MA Industrial Relations (Warwick), PhD (London)


Gurharpal Singh
Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Department of Religions and Philosophies

Professor in Inter-Religious Relations and Development

Centre of Jaina Studies

Member, Centre of Jaina Studies

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies


Centre for the Study of Pakistan

Academic Staff, Centre for the Study of Pakistan

Centre on the Politics of Energy Security (CEPES)

CEPES Member

The Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme

Project Board Chair

Executive Board

Ex-officio Member

Professor Gurharpal Singh
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4108
+44(0) 20 7898 4699
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Tuesdays 3-4pm


Professor Gurharpal Singh is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Professor in Inter-Religious Relations and Development in the Department of Study of Religions. He is a political scientist who completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the LSE. Previously, he was the Deputy Director of the Religions and Development Research Programme (DFID) and held the Nadir Dinshaw Chair in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. He has also been the C.R.Parekh Chair in Indian politics at the University of Hull.

Professor Singh is a member of the RAE 2014 (sub-panel 27, Area Studies) and the Commissioning Panel of the AHRC and ESRC Religion and Society Research Programme. He was a member of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (2002 -07) and the RAE 2008 (sub-panel  49, Asian Studies).


  • Politics, religious studies, development
  • Politics of India
  • Religions  and development in Asia and Africa
  • Politics and corruption
  • Sikh Studies
  • Multiculturalism
  • Transnationalism and development


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Heewon Kim, United Progressive Alliance (2004-14), equality of opportunity and Muslims: a paradigm shift or political pragmatism?


Professor Singh‘s main research interest is the politics of modern India and Pakistan. He has published widely on the partition of India, religious and ethnic conflict in South Asia, political corruption, and the Indian diaspora (particularly Sikhs in Britain). He is currently working on a volume on Indian democracy in the twenty-first century.
From 2005 to 2011, Professor Singh was the Deputy Director of the Department for International Development (UK) funded research consortium on Religions and Development based in the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham (see http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/government-society/departments/international-development/rad/index.aspx). This research programme was an international research partnership exploring the relationships between several major world religions, development in low-income countries and poverty reduction. It had country partners in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tanzania and had thirteen individual research projects that ranged from religion and governance to the role of faith based organisations in service delivery and post-conflict reconstruction. Professor Singh led the research on three projects: religion, politics and governance in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tanzania; new forms of religious transnationalism and development initiatives; and the role of faith communities in post-conflict transformation and long term development.

Professor Singh is an editor of Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory. He has a special interest in Sikh Studies, the management of religious diversity in the West and  multicultural governance in the City of Leicester.


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Available for
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
  • TV
Regional Expertise
  • South Asia
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Singh, Gurharpal (2017) Sikh Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal (2016) India’s Troubled Democracy: Religion, Violence and Corruption. New York: Columbia University Press. (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal and Talbot, Ian (2009) The Partition of India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Singh, Gurharpal and Tatla, D.S. (2006) Sikhs in Britain: The making of a community. London: Zed Books.

Singh, Gurharpal (2000) Ethnic conflict in India: a case-study of Punjab. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Singh, Gurharpal (1994) Communism in Punjab: a study of the movement up to 1967. Delhi: Ajanta Publications.

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Long, Roger D. and Singh, Gurharpal and Samad, Yunus and Talbot, Ian, eds. (2015) State and Nation-Building in Pakistan: Beyond, Islam and Security. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series)

Saez, Lawrence and Singh, Gurharpal, eds. (2011) New Dimensions of Politics in India: The United Progressive Alliance in Power. London: Routledge. (Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies, 21)

Singh, Gurharpal and Rex, John, eds. (2004) Governance in multicultural societies. Aldershot: Ashgate. (Research in migration and ethnic relations series)

Singh, Gurharpal and Vertovec, Steve and Parekh, Bhikhu, eds. (2003) Culture and economy in the Indian diaspora. London; New York: Routledge. (Routledge Research in Transnationalism)

Singh, Gurharpal and Shackle, Christopher and Mandair, A., eds. (2000) Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity. London: Curzon.

Singh, Gurharpal and Talbot, Ian, eds. (1999) Region and partition : Bengal, Punjab and the partition of the subcontinent. Karachi: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

Singh, Gurharpal and Kim, Heewon (2016) 'Between Hegemonic Domination and the Quest for Equality: The Challenges of Managing Religious Diversity in India Today.' In: Dawson, Andrew, (ed.), The Politics and Practice of Religious Diversity. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal (2015) 'Violence and state formation in Pakistan.' In: Long, Roger D. and Singh, Gurharpal and Samad, Yunus and Talbot, Ian, (eds.), State and Nation-Building in Pakistan Beyond Islam and Security. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp. 192-206. (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series)

Singh, Gurharpal and Graham, D. and Gillat, S. and Zavos, J. and Woodhead, L. (2012) 'Religious Minorities: Judaism, Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.' In: Woodhead, L. and Catto, R., (eds.), Religion and Change in Modern Britain. London: Routledge.

Singh, Gurharpal (2012) 'Religion, Politics and Governance in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tanzania since Independence: A Comparative Framework.' In: Jodhka, Surinder, (ed.), Democracy, Identity and Citizenship: Interrogating India’s Modernity. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal (2012) 'Sikhs and Partition Violence: a Re-evaluation.' In: Talbot, Ian, (ed.), The Independence of India and Pakistan: New Approaches and Reflections. Karachi: Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal (2011) 'United Progressive Alliance and Secularism.' In: Saez, Lawrence and Singh, Gurharpal, (eds.), New Dimensions of Politics in India: UPA in Power. London: Routledge, pp. 55-66.

Singh, Gurharpal (2010) 'Reassessing “Conventional Wisdom”: Ethnicity, Ethnic Conflict and India as an Ethnic Democracy.' In: Baruah, Sanjib, (ed.), Ethno-nationalist Movements in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 99-119.

Singh, Gurharpal (2010) 'Crisis of National Unity: Punjab, Kashmir and the North East.' In: Brass, Paul, (ed.), Handbook of South Asian Politics. London: Routledge, pp. 249-261.

Singh, Gurharpal (2008) 'The Partition of India as State Contraction: Some Unspoken Assumption.' In: Tan, Tan Yong and Kudaisya, Gyanesh, (eds.), Partition and Post-Colonial South Asia. London: Routledge, pp. 85-99.

Singh, Gurharpal (2008) 'The State and Religious Diversity in Post-Independence India.' In: Talbot, Ian, (ed.), The Deadly Embrace: Religion, Politics and Violence in India and Pakistan, 1947-2000. Karachi: Oxford University Press, pp. 60-77.


Singh, Gurharpal and Shani, Georgio (2015) 'Rethinking Sikh Nationalism in the 21st Century.' Sikh Formations, 11 (3). (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal (2013) 'Religious Transnationalism, Development and the Construction of Religious Boundaries: the case of the Dera Sachkhand Ballan and the Ravidass Dharm.' Global networks: a journal of transnational affairs . (Forthcoming)

Singh, Gurharpal (2006) 'Gurdwaras and community-building among British Sikhs.' Contemporary South Asia, 15 (2). pp. 147-164.

Singh, Gurharpal (2003) 'Multiculturalism in Contemporary Britain: Reflections on the “Leicester Model”.' International Journal on Multicultural Societies, 5 (1). pp. 40-54.


Singh, Gurharpal (2011) Religion, Politics and Governance in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tanzania: an Overview. Working Paper No. 55, Religions and Development Research Programme, University of Birmingham, UK.

Singh, Gurharpal and Simon, Charlene and Tatla, Darshan S. (2010) New Forms of Religious Transnationalism and Development Initiatives: A Case Study of Dera Sant Sarwan Dass, Ballan, Punjab, India. Working Paper No. 52, Religions and Development Research Programme, University of Birmingham, UK.

Singh, Gurharpal and Marquette, Heather and Alhassan, N.A. (2007) Political Science, Religion and Development: A Literature Review. No.7, Religions and Development Research Programme, University of Birmingham, UK.


Singh, Gurharpal (2015) 'The Accidental Prime Minister –The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh (Sanjaya Baru).' Times Literary Supplement, 20 March .

Singh, Gurharpal (2014) 'All change as Indian general elections begin.' Eastern Eye, 11 April .

Singh, Gurharpal (2014) 'An exercise in blame displacement UK Sikhs hurt over Thatcher help for Operation Bluestar.' The Tribune, 12th February .

Singh, Gurharpal (2010) 'David Cameron’s India Visit.' Total Politics .

This list was generated on Wed May 4 00:33:04 2016 BST.