Professor Gurharpal Singh

Key information

Emeritus Professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies Emeritus Professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies
BSc Econ (London), MA Industrial Relations (Warwick), PhD (London)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44(0) 20 7898 4108


Emeritus Professor Gurharpal Singh was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, SOAS, from 2011 to 2017. 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 was a member of the RAE 2014 (sub-panel 27, Area Studies) and the RAE 2008 (sub-panel 49, Asian Studies). He was a member of the Commissioning Panel of the AHRC and ESRC Religion and Society Research Programme and of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (2002 -07).


• Politics, history, religious studies
• Politics of South Asia
• Sikh studies
• Religious violence
• Religions and development
• Multiculturalism with special reference to the management of religious diversity

Research interests

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. 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.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Mr Atsushi Ikeda Portraying the Guru: Art and Identity in Sikhism


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