Steven I. Wilkinson, the Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies and a professor of political science and international affairs, will be the next Henry R. Luce Director of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. He will begin in his new post on July 1, 2019.
“I am grateful to the faculty advisory committee led by Pericles Lewis, vice president for global strategy and deputy provost for international affairs, whose insights informed Professor Wilkinson’s appointment,” said Ben Polak, Provost and William C. Brainard Professor of Economics. “And I join President Salovey, along with so many others across campus, in thanking Sterling Professor of Political Science Ian Shapiro for his fifteen years of service as director. The thriving MacMillan Center that we know today was shaped by his hands, and we are fortunate to know that it will continue to flourish under Professor Wilkinson’s leadership in the years to come.”
A political scientist, Professor Wilkinson has focused his research on the causes of ethnic violence, corruption in politics, and civil-military politics in South Asia. He is the author of Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India and Army and Nation: India’s Military and Democracy since Independence; editor of Religious Politics and Communal Violence in India; and co-editor of Patrons or Policies: Patterns of Democratic Accountability and Political Competition. His current research project, co-authored with Stanford’s Saumitra Jha, looks at the effects of war on individual political behavior and conflict, through cases as diverse as the French Revolution and the partition of India.
Professor Wilkinson began his career at Duke University, where he had earlier earned his M.A. in history. A native of Scotland, he received his first degree (also in history) from the University of Edinburgh. He moved from Duke to take a position at the University of Chicago, where he chaired that university’s interdisciplinary Committee on Southern Asian Studies, before coming to Yale in 2009.
Over the past decade Professor Wilkinson has contributed his insights to numerous strategic initiatives for the university, serving on advisory groups ranging from the FAS Senate Implementation Committee to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on International Affairs to the recent Advisory Committee on the Future of the Jackson Institute. He has been a member of the South Asian Studies Council at the MacMillan Center since he joined the Yale faculty, and he is in his second term chairing the Department of Political Science, a position he has held since 2014. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences dean’s office will now begin the process of identifying his successor as department chair.