Amit Ahuja

Photo of Professor Ahuja
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies

Contact Phone


Office Location

Ellison 3722
De Anza 2004 (office hours)


Comparative Politics, Ethnicity and Identity, Social Movements, Security, South Asia
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2008


Amit Ahuja is an Associate Professor and Faculty-in-Residence at the Manzanita Village and San Rafael Residence Halls. His research focuses on the processes of inclusion and exclusion in multiethnic societies. He has studied this within the context of ethnic parties and movements, military organization, intercaste marriage, and skin color preferences in South Asia.

Professor Ahuja’s book, Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements published by Oxford University Press was the winner of the 2020 New India Foundation Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize.

He is working on a second book-length project, Building National Armies in Multiethnic States. Professor Ahuja was awarded The Margret T. Getman Service to Students Award in 2015. 

Professor Ahuja’s research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Institute of Indian Studies, the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Hellman Family Foundation, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Michigan.



Forthcoming Publications:

“The Janus-Faced Leviathan: State and Internal Security in India,” New York: Oxford University Press, Accepted for publication. (with Devesh Kapur)
“Military in Internal Security,” The Janus-Faced Leviathan: State and Internal Security in India, ed. Amit Ahuja and Devesh Kapur, New York: Oxford University Press, accepted for publication. (with Srinath Raghavan)
“Dalit Protest Politics,” Dalits in the New Millennium, ed. Sudha Pai, D. Shyam Babu, and Rahul Verma, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, accepted for publication. (with Rajkamal Singh)
“Anticorruption Politics VS Democratic Deepening and Welfare in India,” Asian Survey, forthcoming. (with Adnan Naseemullah and Susan L. Ostermann)
“The Election Commission of India: Guardian of Democracy,” Guardians of Public Value: How Public Organisations Become and Remain Institutions, ed. Arjen Boin, Lauren Fahy, and Paul t’Hart, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2021.


Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties Without Ethnic Movements. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2019.

“From Quiescent Bureaucracy to ‘Undocumented Wonder’: Explaining the Indian Election Commission’s Expanding Mandate,” Governance, Volume 31 Issue 4 (2018): pgs. 759-776. (with Susan L. Ostermann)

“India’s Geoeconomic Strategy,” India Review, Volume 17 Issue 1 (2018): pgs. 76-99. (with Devesh Kapur)

“Is Only Fair Lovely in Indian Politics? Consequences of Skin Color in a Survey Experiment in Delhi,” Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, Volume 1 Issue 2 (2016): pgs. 227-252. (with Susan Ostermann and Aashish Mehta)

“Crossing Caste Boundaries in the Middle-Class Indian Marriage Market,” Studies in Comparative International Development, Volume 51 Issue 3 (2016): pgs. 365-387. (with Susan Ostermann)

“Religion in the Indian Army,” Religion in the Military Worldwide, ed. Ron E. Hassner, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

“Why the Poor Vote in India: ‘If I Don’t Vote, I am Dead to the State,’” Studies in Comparative International Development, December 2012, pgs. 389 – 410. (with Pradeep Chhibber)



PS 106MI 

Politics of the Military

PS 130

Government and Politics of South Asia
PS 132

Politics of the Poor

PS 137

Politics of Economic Development


PS 230 

Comparative Politics

PS 232

Politics of Economic Development

PS 237

Social Movements and Their Effects