Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada
I originally joined the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme as a departmental lecturer in October 2010. In September 2017 I took up Oxford’s Associate Professorship in the International Relations of South Asia, divided between Area Studies and the Department of Politics and International Relations. I hold a Governing Body Fellowship at St Antony’s College and am Chair of the Board of Examiners for both the MSc and MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies.
My research centres on a long-standing interest in India’s identity and state behaviour as a rising power. My book, Rising India: Status and Power (2017), with Rajesh Basrur, looks at India’s status-seeking strategies in world politics since Independence. From 2013 to 2015 I led a collaborative research project that examined India’s rise from the perspective of a number of significant non-Western states, resulting in the edited volume Competing Visions of India in World Politics: India’s Rise beyond the West (2015). From 2015 to 2017 I built, together with Manjari Chatterjee Miller, an international research network focussing on Narendra Modi’s foreign policy, leading to our joint-editorship of the special issue of International Affairs, ‘India’s Rise at 70’ (January 2017). My research has been supported by the John Fell OUP Research Fund and the Vice Chancellor’s Returning Carer’s Fund.
Currently, I am concluding a monograph that examines how rising powers navigate and negotiate socialisation pressures in order to retain distinctive elements of their identities. In parallel, I am working with Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, to forge a project that will study the rapidly shifting sea-scape of Indian Ocean security. More broadly, I am interested in South Asian nuclear politics (see publications), India’s role in climate change, and UN Security Council reform.
Teaching, supervising and mentoring students are three of the most rewarding and illuminating aspects of my work. I convene the MSc/MPhil option The International Relations of South Asia, and co-convene the options India as a 'Great Power': Economics and International Relations and Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka: Contemporary Themes. I gained a Teaching Excellence Awards Project Grant in 2013 and was nominated by my students for an Oxford University Students Union Teaching Award in 2017.
Committed to knowledge exchange, I have engaged regularly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through invited participation in advisory and ministerial meetings. I have written Indian foreign policy-related articles that delve into topics as diverse as pandas, nukes, birthday cake and koalas, for Indian dailies and various digital outlets, and have appeared on an India-focused edition of BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week.