Department of Political Science
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132


Tel: (415) 338-2139
Fax: (510) 236-2349
Fax: (415) 338-2391 (dept office)



Comparative Politics (Developing Areas, South Asia, Sri Lanka): especially democracy and democratization, ethnicity and nationalism, political economy of development.



  • CHAIR, Department of Political Science, San Francisco State University, 2004-2007
  • PROFESSOR, Political Science, San Francisco State University, 1998-present
  • GRADUATE PROGRAM COORDINATOR, Political Science, 2002-03
  • ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, Political Science, San Francisco State University, 1993-1998
  • ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, Political Science, San Francisco State University, 1989-1993
  • RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, Center for South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1987-1989
  • VISITING SCHOLAR, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985-1987
  • RESEARCH FELLOW, Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1984-1985



  • PH.D., Politics (International Studies), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, 1985
  • M.PHIL., Comparative Politics (South Asian Studies), Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1980
  • M.A., Politics (International Studies), Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1977
  • B.A., Economics and Political Science, University of Delhi, 1975



  • Visiting Research Fellow, Department of International Development, Oxford University, UK, January-June 2010
  • Member, Board of Directors, International Center for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka, 2008-present, elected
  • Invited Speaker, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Swansea, UK, April 2008
  • Overseas Director, American Institute of Sri Lanka Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, May-August 2003
  • Visiting Fellow, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, June-August 1998
  • Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs 1990-91, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Visiting Fellow, International Center for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, June-September 1991
  • Senior Research Fellowship, University Grants Commission, India, 1979-1981 (national fellowship)
  • Junior Research Fellowship, University Grants Commission, India, 1977-1979 (national fellowship)




  • The Post-Colonial States of South Asia: Democracy, Identity, Development and Security, edited with A. Jeyaratnam Wilson (Surrey, UK: Curzon Press; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).
  • "A well-written and well-edited deserves a wise and careful readership."
    International Affairs (London)
    "…Both are rich volumes and will prove to be invaluable for teaching and understanding politics in South Asia."
    -- The Indian Economic and Social History Review (New Delhi)

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Tigers’ Shadow: Bringing a Close to Sri Lanka’s Long War,”Foreign Affairs, August 4, 2009,
  • “Ending Ethnic Civil War: The Peace Process in Sri Lanka,” Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (London), 47 (1), February 2009, 76-99.
  • “Sri Lanka,” World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, ILL: World Book Publishing, 2009 edition), pp. 18-817 – 18-820.
  • "Channeling Ethnicity through Electoral Reform in Sri Lanka," Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (London), 43 (1), April 2005, 34-60.
  • "Indo-Sri Lanka Relations," Stanley Wolpert and Raju Thomas, eds, Encylopaedia of India, vol. on Politics (Scribner, 2005).
  • "The Economy in Conditions of Intense Civil War: Sri Lanka 1994-2000," in Economy, Culture, and Civil War in Sri Lanka, eds Deborah Wiinslow and Mike Woost (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004), 73-92.
  • “Reproducing Hegemony: The United National Party of Sri Lanka,” in Political Parties in South Asia, eds Subrata K. Mitra, Mike Enskat and Clemens Spiess (Westport, CT; London: Praeger, 2004), 236-258.
  • "Sri Lanka 2002: Turning the Corner?" Asian Survey (Berkeley), 43 (1), February 2003, 215-221.
  • "Sri Lanka 2001: Year of Reversals," Asian Survey (Berkeley), 42 (1), February 2002, 177-182.
  • "Economic Issues in the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka," in Peace Initiatives towards Reconciliation and Nation-Building in Sri Lanka: An International Perspective, edited by Dagmar Hellman-Rajanayagam (Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Ceylonese Congress, 2002), 177-188.
  • "The States of South Asia: Democracy, Identity, Development and Security," in The Post-Colonial States of South Asia, A. Shastri and A. J. Wilson, eds (Surrey, UK: Curzon Press, New York: St Martin's Press, 2001), 1-13.
  • “Estate Tamils, the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948, and Sri Lankan Politics,” Contemporary South Asia (Oxford), 8 (1), March 1999, 65-86.
  • “The Elusive Consensus: Sri Lanka’s Search for a Political Solution,” Nethra (Colombo), 3 (2), January–March 1999, 53-66.
  • "Transitions to a Free Market: Economic Liberalization in Sri Lanka," Round Table (London), no. 344, October 1997, 485-511.
  • "Government Policies and the Ethnic Crisis in Sri Lanka," in Government Policies and Ethnic Relations in Asia and the Pacific, Michael Brown and S. Ganguly, eds (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), 129-63.
  • "Constitution Making as a Political Resource: Crisis of Legitimacy in Sri Lanka," in Legitimacy and Conflict in South Asia: External and Internal Challenges to Governance, Dietmar Rothermund and S.K. Mitra, eds (New Delhi: Manohar, 1997), 173-93.
  • "Sri Lanka's Provincial Council System: A Solution to the Ethnic Problem?" Asian Survey (Berkeley), 32 (8), 1992, 401-21.
  • _________, reprinted in Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka, Sunil Bastian, ed. (New Delhi: Konark Publishers, 1994), 198-228.
  • "Women in Development and Politics: The Changing Situation in Sri Lanka," Journal of Development Studies (Toronto), 8 (1-2), 1992, 194-211.
  • ________, reprinted in Gender and Political Economy in South Asia, Alice Clark, ed. (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992), 246-72.
  • "Electoral Competition and Minority Alienation in a Plurality System: Sri Lanka 1947-1977," Electoral Studies (Oxford), 10 (4), 1991, 326-47.
  • "The Material Basis for Separatism: The Eelam Movement in Sri Lanka," Journal of Asian Studies (Berkeley), 49 (1), 1990, 56-77.
  • _________, reprinted in The Sri Lankan Tamils: Ethnicity and Identity, C. Manogaran and B. Pfaffenberger, eds. (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1994), 208-35.
  • "The Post-Colonial State in Sri Lanka: 1948 - 1972," International Symposium on Asian Studies 1985 (Hong-Kong), 447-60.
  • "The Political Economy of Intermediate Regimes: The Case of Sri Lanka, 1956 - 1970," South Asia Bulletin (Los Angeles), 3 (2), 1983, 1-14.
  • "Notes on the Evolution of the Contemporary Political Formation in Sri Lanka," South Asia Bulletin, 3 (1), 1983, 16-37.
  • "The Presidential System in Sri Lanka," Radical Humanist (New Delhi), February 1981, special issue.
  • "The Sri Lankan Parliament: A Case Study," Parliamentary Chronicle (New Delhi), nos. 4 & 5, July 1980.


  • Preferential Policies in Malaysia (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University, Pew Case Studies in International Affairs, Case 458, 1993).
  • "Social Service Recipients in California by Ethnic Origin," California Institute of Technology, March 1986.


  • "Electoral and Socio-economic Data by Constituencies: Sri Lanka 1947-1977" (1986).




  • The Elusive Consensus: Development of Democracy in Sri Lanka.


  • "Sri Lanka in the Aftermath of Civil War"
  • "The Politics of Devolution in Sri Lanka."
  • “Democracy and Democratization: Elite Agency in Sri Lanka.”
  • "Limits to the Nationalist Revolution: The United Front Regime in Sri Lanka, 1970-77."



  • American Political Science Association, 1984-present
    Member, Comparative Politics Section
  • Association for Asian Studies, 1984-present.
    Member, Sri Lanka Studies Group
  • American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, 1995-present.



  • Member, Board of Directors, International Center for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, elected 2008-12
  • Member, Program Committee, Association for Asian Studies, 2008-10
  • Member, Executive Board, American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies, 1999-2002
  • Member, Editorial Board, Asian Ethnicity (London), 1998-present
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Committee, Asian Survey (Berkeley), 1997-2003, 2003-09
  • Member, Executive Board, Sri Lanka Studies Group, Association for Asian Studies, 1990-93
  • Member, Executive Council, Northern California Political Science Association, 1990-92
  • Chair, Local Arrangements, Western Political Science Association Conference, San Francisco, 1992: for an interim period of 1989-91
  • Member, Committee on Professional Development, Western Political Science Association, 1985-87

Outside Reviewer

  • Grants review panel, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C., 2002
  • Book manuscripts: Cornell University Press, Hurst and Co., Routledge South Asian Studies, East-West Center Washington Policy Studies series
  • Article manuscripts: World Development, Comparative Politics, Journal of Asian Studies, Electoral Studies, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Asian Survey, Pacific Affairs, Contemporary South Asia, Asian Ethnicity, International Security, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence, Commonwealth, and others.




  • Seminar in Comparative Politics (PLSI 760)
  • Indian Politics Seminar (PLSI 767)
  • Democracies and Democratization (PLSI 764)


  • Ethnicity and Nationalism (PLSI/IR 416)
  • South Asian Politics (PLSI/IR 412)
  • Politics of India (PLSI 415)
  • Comparative Politics (PLSI 250)
  • Understanding Politics (PLSI 100)