Academic Programmes

5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)



  • B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science, Lady Shri Ram College
  • MA in Political Science, Centre for Political Studies, JNU
  • M.Phil in Political Science, Centre for Political Studies in JNU
  • M.Phil in Politics, University of Oxford
  • PhD in Political Science, University of Toronto


Dr. Rinku Lamba has worked at the Centre for Political Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University for over 13 years. She has taught courses in contemporary political theory, and the history of political thought (Indian and Western), and also supervised research work of doctoral candidates in these areas. She previously held visiting faculty positions at Humboldt University, and University of Wurzburg in Germany, and served as an instructor at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on state power, multiculturalism, secularism, and conceptions of religion in India, as well as on the political thought of Ranade, Phule, Ambedkar and Gandhi.

She was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, a Harold Coward Fellow at the University of Victoria, and held fellowships at the University of Sydney and at the Australian Catholic University, Sydney. More recently, she was a senior research fellow at the Multiple Secularities Research Centre in the University of Leipzig, and at the Justitia Amplificata Research Centre in the Goethe University in Frankfurt. She was also the Lansdowne Visiting Scholar in Religious Studies at the University of Victoria in Canada in 2019. In 2022, she received the Dalai Lama Fellowship for Nalanda Studies from the Foundation for Universal Responsibility.  During this fellowship, she will be working on a monographic essay on Rabindranath Tagore’s Religion of Man.

Research Interests

Contemporary Political Theory
History of Political Thought (Indian and Western)
Democratic Theory
Religion in the Indian subcontinent, including studies of bhakti
Planning and Politics in Cities


  • Forthcoming: “Revisiting Rabindranath Tagore’s Critique of Nationalism” accepted for publication in Modern Asian Studies
  • Forthcoming: “Religion and Persuasion: An Analysis of the Views of Kabir and Gandhi” in Martin Fuchs (ed.) Bhakti and Self, Delhi, Oxford University Press
  • 2020: “Religion, Secularism and State Power,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 55, Issue No.12, 21 March, 2020, pp. 22-25
  • 2019: “Religion and the Postsecular: Reflections on the Indian Experience,” in Uchenna Okeja (ed.) Religion in the Era of Postsecularism, London, Routledge, pp. 123-147
  • 2016: Co-editor, with Paul Bramadat, of a special section on “Managing Religious Diversity in India, China and Canada,” Studies in Religion, 45 (4), pp. 465-580
  • 2016: “Gandhi’s Response to Religious Conflict,” Studies in Religion, 45 (4), pp. 470-475
  • 2014: “Two Faces of State Power,” in Avigail Eisenberg, Jeremy Webber et al (eds.) Recognition and Self-Determination, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, pp. 75-100
  • 2013: “State Intervention in the Reform of a ‘Religion of Rules’: An Analysis of the Views of B R Ambedkar” in Rajeev Bhargava, Andre Laliberté and Bruce Berman (eds.) Secularism, the Secular State and Religious Diversity, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, pp. 187-206
  • 2013: “Nationalism” in Sanjay Palshikar and P. K. Dutta (eds.) Modern Indian Political Thought, Delhi, Oxford University Press (series commissioned by the Indian Council of Social Science Research), pp. 121-149
  • 2011: “Political Institutions for Remedying Caste- and Sex-based Hierarchies: a View from Colonial India” in Gurpreet Mahajan (ed.) Accommodating Diversity, Delhi, Oxford University Press
  • 2009: “Bringing the State Back In, Yet Again: the Debate over Socioreligious Reform in late-Nineteenth Century India,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 29:2, pp. 186-200
  • 2008: “Non-Domination and the State: A Response to the Subaltern Critique,” published as part of the Max Weber Working Paper Series at the European University Institute

Book Reviews:

  • 2016: Review of Beyond Doubt: A Dossier on Gandhi’s Assassination, in History and Sociology of South Asia, 10 (2), 213-215
  • 2012: Review of What it Means to be a Muslim in India Today, (ANHAD), in History and Sociology of South Asia, 6 (2), 147-148
  • 2010: Review of Alladi Memorial Lectures, in History and Sociology of South Asia, 4 (1), 87-89
  • 2007: Review of Anuradha Needham and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan (eds.) The Crisis of Indian Secularism, in Pacific Affairs, Vol. 80, No. 3, 534-536