The Chaos Analyst
When they are tired of trite clichés about a political situation and need explanations, Indian newspaper readers turn to Pratap Bhanu Mehta. His columns display a sense of historicity and an interest in empirical rigour. He will demonstrate that India’s jigsaw puzzle of coalition politics works even if you don’t like its unhemmed edges. He will talk of India’s remarkable ability to engage in institutional improvisation. Power, violence, secularism and law — all of these appear in the complex skeins of his writing. There is also a Dr Mehta avatar, one published widely in the fields of political theory, intellectual history, constitutional law, politics and society. Dr Mehta is the President of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, one of India’s most distinguished think tanks. He was previously Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University; and Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard University. He was also Member-Convenor of the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission (His resignation letter from the commission too is a marvel in political clarity).
He serves on the Editorial Board of journals including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Democracy and India and Global Affairs.