SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Rahul Rao

BA, LLB (India); DPhil (Oxon)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Rahul Rao
Department of Politics and International Studies

Director of Learning and Teaching

Centre for Gender Studies


Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice


SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Dr Rahul Rao
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4534
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Fridays, 3-5pm


Rahul Rao is the author of Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality (2020) and Third World Protest: Between Home and the World (2010), both published by Oxford University Press. He is currently writing a book on the politics of controversial statues. He is a member of the Radical Philosophy collective and blogs occasionally at The Disorder of Things. He has research interests in international relations, postcolonial and queer theory, gender and sexuality, and South Asia.

SOAS students: book office hours here


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Abeera Khan, Queer Muslim Subjecthoods: Mapping London's Contested Landscape
  • Cornelis Rijneveld, High Fun: An ethnography of HIV risk and stigma among queer men in urban India (working title)
  • Hanna Al Taher, Gendered Citizenship in Jordan: Imagining, Claiming, Resisting Belonging
  • Hinni Aarainsalo,
  • Jacquelyn P. Strey, Queer Moments, Queer Imaginings: The everyday activism of queer women in India
  • Lars Olav Aaberg, Queer Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Practice: an Ethnographic Study of Queer Politics in India’s Information City
  • Leon Nelson Kunz, Thesis title: Deliberative Democracy in Social Movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
  • Paul Kaletsch, The Recent Aftermath of "Unsuccessful" Contemporary East Asian Urban Student Protests?
  • Sena Galazzi Lian, Saving' Myanmar One Day at a Time: the Everyday Lives of NGO Workers in Yangon (Working title)
  • Yuan Zhong, How do gender norms influence the marriages between tongzhi and tongqi?


International relations theory, critical theory (especially postcolonial and queer theory), comparative political thought, gender and sexuality, South Asia.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

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


Authored Books

Rao, Rahul (2020) Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rao, Rahul (2010) Third World Protest: Between Home and the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Rao, Rahul (2020) 'Neoliberal antiracism and the British university'. Radical Philosophy, (2) 8, pp 47-54.

Rao, Rahul (2020) 'Nationalisms by, against and beyond the Indian state'. Radical Philosophy, (2) 7, pp 17-26.

Rao, Rahul (2018) 'Review Article: One Time, Many Times'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, pp 1-10.

Rao, Rahul (2018) 'The State of 'Queer IR''. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, (24) 1, pp 139-149.

Rao, Rahul (2017) 'Subalternity and International Law: In Appreciation of Di Otto'. Melbourne Journal of International Law, (18) 2, pp 135-137.

Rao, Rahul (2017) 'Recovering Reparative Readings of Postcolonialism and Marxism'. Critical Sociology, (43) 4-5, pp 587-598.

Rao, Rahul (2016) 'The Diplomat and the Domestic: Or, Homage to 'Faking It''. Millennium - Journal of International Studies, pp 1-8.

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'Global Homocapitalism'. Radical Philosophy, (194), pp 38-49.

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'Re-membering Mwanga: same-sex intimacy, memory and belonging in postcolonial Uganda'. Journal of Eastern African Studies, (9) 1, pp 1-19.

Rao, Rahul (2014) 'The locations of homophobia'. London Review of International Law, (2) 2, pp 169-199.

Rao, Rahul (2014) 'Queer Questions'. International Feminist Journal of Politics, (16) 2, pp 199-217.

Rao, Rahul (2012) 'Review Essay: Revisiting Cartographic Anxiety'. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, (49) 3, pp 575-592.

Rao, Rahul (2010) 'Disciplining Cosmopolitanism'. Transnational Legal Theory, (1) 3, pp 393-420.

Rao, Rahul (2004) 'The Empire Writes Back (to Michael Ignatieff)'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, (33) 1, pp 145-166.

Rao, Rahul (2000) 'The UN and NATO in the New World Order: Legal Issues'. International Studies, (37) 3, pp 157-181.

Book Chapters

Rao, Rahul (2021) 'The Terror of Invulnerability'. In: Browne, Victoria and Danely, Jason and Rosenow, Doerthe, (eds.), Vulnerability and the Politics of Care: Transdisciplinary Dialogues. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 78-82.

Dasgupta, Rohit K. and Gupta, Sunil and Rao, Rahul (2018) 'Global Day of Rage in London: Reflecting on Queer Activisms, New Media and Friendship'. In: Banerjea, Niharika and Dasgupta, Debanuj and Dasgupta, Rohit K. and Grant, Jaime M., (eds.), Friendship as Social Justice Activism: Critical Solidarities in a Global Perspective. Kolkata: Seagull Books.

Rao, Rahul (2017) 'A tale of two atonements'. In: Otto, Dianne, (ed.), Queering International Law: Possibilities, Alliances, Complicities, Risks. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 15-34.

Rao, Rahul (2017) 'Critique in hysterical times'. In: Anagnostopoulos, Athanasios and Ieropoulos, Fil and Dousos, Foivos, (eds.), The Black Book of FYTA. Athens: Nefeli, pp 34-40.

Rao, Rahul (2016) 'Before Bandung: Pet Names in Telangana'. In: Phạm, Quỳnh N. and Shilliam, Robbie, (eds.), Meanings of Bandung: Postcolonial Orders and Decolonial Visions. London: Rowman & Littlefield, pp 85-94.

Rao, Rahul (2016) 'Revolution'. In: Berenskoetter, Felix, (ed.), Concepts in World Politics. London: Sage, pp 253-270.

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'Echoes of Imperialism in LGBT Activism'. In: Nicolaïdis, Kalypso and Sèbe, Berny and Maas, Gabrielle, (eds.), Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies. London: I. B. Tauris, pp 355-372.

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'Hijra'. In: Dharampal-Frick, Gita and Kirloskar-Steinbach, Monika and Dwyer, Rachel and Phalkey, Jahnavi, (eds.), Key Concepts in Modern Indian Studies. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp 99-101.

Rao, Rahul (2014) 'The Elusiveness of 'Non-Western Cosmopolitanism''. In: Gupta, Sonika and Padmanabhan, Sudarsan, (eds.), Politics and Cosmopolitanism in a Global Age. New Delhi: Routledge.

Rao, Rahul (2013) 'Postcolonialism'. In: Freeden, Michael and Sargent, Lyman Tower and Stears, Marc, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 271-289.

Rao, Rahul (2012) 'Cosmopolitanism'. In: Chimni, Bhupinder S. and Mallavarapu, Siddharth, (eds.), International Relations: Perspectives for the Global South. Delhi: Pearson, pp 195-209.

Rao, Rahul (2012) 'Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism: Making Place for Nationalism'. In: Tripathy, Jyotirmaya and Padmanabhan, Sudarsan, (eds.), The Democratic Predicament: Cultural Diversity in Europe and India. New Delhi: Routledge, pp 165-187.

Rao, Rahul (2011) 'Queer in the Time of Terror'. In: Narrain, Arvind and Gupta, Alok, (eds.), Law Like Love: Queer Perspectives on Law. New Delhi: Yoda Press, pp 43-66.

Monographs and Working Papers

Rao, Rahul and Weber-Venghaus, Svenja and Sasser, Brandie (2001) Implementation of Operational Directive 4.20 on Indigenous Peoples: An Independent Desk Review, Background Paper 1: A Review of Selected Issues Related to Indigenous Peoples. Washington D.C.: World Bank.

Book Reviews

Rao, Rahul (2020) 'The ineffable somethingness of love and revolution'. Jindal Law & Humanities Review, (1), pp 108-112.

Rao, Rahul (2020) 'Review: 'Postcolonial Intellectuals in Europe: Critics, Artists, Movements, and their Publics', edited by Sandra Ponzanesi and Adriano José Habed.'. The Sociological Review.

Rao, Rahul (2019) 'Geopolitical antifuturism'. Radical Philosophy, (2) 5, pp 90-92.

Rao, Rahul (2017) 'Review: 'Sexual states: governance and the struggle over the antisodomy law in India' by Jyoti Puri. Durham; London: Duke University Press, 2016.'. International Feminist Journal of Politics.

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'Review: 'The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism' by Paul Amar.'. philoSOPHIA, (5) 2, pp 336-340.

Rao, Rahul (2013) 'Listening to the avant-garde'. Ethics & Global Politics, (6) 2, pp 101-107.

Rao, Rahul (2013) 'Review: 'Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics' by Naisargi N. Dave.'. ID: International Dialogue, A Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs, (3), pp 191-197.

Rao, Rahul (2008) 'Review: 'The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future' by Martha Nussbaum.'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, (37) 1, pp 245-247.

Rao, Rahul (2005) 'Review of 'Sarai Reader 05: Bare Acts''. Oxonian Review of Books, (4) 3.

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Rao, Rahul (2021) Decolonisation’s Conservative Enemies and Liberal Friends.

Rao, Rahul (2020) Abusing Mandela to Absolve Rhodes.

Rao, Rahul (2020) Test Of Faith.


Rao, Rahul (2019) 'Mendacious Fictions' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2018) 'Maiming, debility and the proliferation of the 'pariah'' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2018) 'This House Believes Britain Should Be Ashamed Of Churchill' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2017) 'On Statues (III)' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2016) 'Citizens of Nowhere' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2016) 'On Statues (II)' The Disorder of Things [Online].

Rao, Rahul (2016) 'On Statues' The Disorder of Things [Online].

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'Love in the Time of El Período Especial' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2015) 'A Debate Around John Hobson's 'The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics'' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2014) 'Cavity Searches in Intern(ation)al Relations' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2014) 'Staying positivist in the fight against homophobia' Sexuality Policy Watch Newsletter, 14.

Rao, Rahul (2013) 'Sour Lips: A Review' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2013) 'The Queer Art of Whistle Blowing' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2012) 'On 'gay conditionality', imperial power and queer liberation' Kafila.

Rao, Rahul (2012) 'Researching Sexuality in ‘Difficult’ Contexts' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2012) 'How Many Buddhists Are There in Northern Ireland?' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2011) 'War theatre: Black Watch' openDemocracy.

Rao, Rahul (2011) 'Dalston: a worm's eye view' The Disorder of Things.

Rao, Rahul (2010) 'In defence of Sex and the City 2' openDemocracy.

Rao, Rahul (2008) 'Mumbai: Why?' Global Policy Forum.

Rao, Rahul (2005) 'Blenheim and Bangalore' New Internationalist.

Rao, Rahul (2004) 'World Social Forum Mumbai: Included Out?' Mute: culture and politics after the Net.

Rao, Rahul (1999) 'Social Clauses: Here to Stay' Global Policy Forum.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 15:00 Europe/London.