Professor Peter Ronald deSouza
Professor Peter Ronald deSouza, the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, assumed charge in December 2007. Prior to this he was Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies where he was Co-Director of the Lokniti programme on Comparative Democracy. He has been engaged with unpacking puzzles of democracy and has written on panchayati raj and the 'second wind' of democracy in India, party hopping and the party system in India, electoral violence and its sources, dalits and discrimination, trust and political institutions, and freedom from fear and human security. As a political theorist his abiding interest is on threats to freedom of expression in democratic polities and on issues of righting historical wrong. In addition to numerous articles he has edited two books Contemporary India: Transitions (Sage, 2000) and (with E. Sridharan) India's Political Parties, (Sage, 2006). He has recently been one of the three principal investigators of a five nation study published by Oxford University Press on the State of Democracy in South Asia (2006).
Professor deSouza taught in the Political Science department at Goa University for 16 years. He was head from 1996 to 2002. He was a member of the IPSA's RC on Political Philosophy and Political Sociology, and was a member of the University Grants Commission's expert panel on Political Science. He was awarded the British Council Visitorship to the UK in 1992 where he made presentations at several universities such as Sussex, Warwick, LSE and SOAS. In March 2000 he was Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, London University and in May 2001 he was Visiting Scholar at the Taubman Centre, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was part of the team that did a review of Social Science Research Capacity in South Asia for SSRC, New York. He has led a study on Youth Attitudes in India (2007-8) for Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and on Electoral Violence and Conflict Resolution in South Asia and South East Asia for the UNDP.
Professor deSouza has been a consultant to the World Bank on Rural Decentralization and on Dalits, Discrimination, and the Struggle for Equal Citizenship, to Ford Foundation on Local Government in India, to International IDEA in preparing their handbook on Democracy Assessment, to the Inter-Parliamentary Union in preparing their Handbook on Parliament in the twenty-first Century, to ICNRD-5 in their Democracy Assessment of Mongolia, and to UNDP in their study on Electoral Violence. Since he comes from Goa he is also deeply engaged with the transformations taking place there especially those concerning issues of identity and community life.