Prerna Singh

Mahatma Gandhi Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Brown University

Prerna Singh is Mahatma Gandhi Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies and faculty fellow at the Watson Institute, and co-convenor of the Brown-Harvard-MIT Joint Seminar in South Asian Politics. She completed her PhD and MA from the Department of Politics at Princeton University, the tripos in social and political studies from Cambridge University, UK, and a BA (Honors) in economics from Delhi University. Prior to joining Brown, she taught in the Department of Government at Harvard University. She has also been a junior fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and held a pre-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study for India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Her book, How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India was published by Cambridge University Press in their  Comparative Politics series earlier this year ( The book is a comparative historical analysis of the very different evolution of social policy and welfare systems across states in India, and the critical role that a sense of social solidarity and political community has played therein.  She traces the striking divergences in education and health policy and outcomes across Indian states to differences in the strength of their subnational identification. The book was awarded the Woodrow Wilson prize by the American Political Science Association for the best book published in politics and international relations in the last year, and the Barrington Moore prize for the best book published in comparative historical sociology in the last year by the American Sociological Association. 

Singh's articles have been published in several journals, including Comparative Political Studies,Comparative Politics, World Development, World Politics, and Studies in Comparative International Development. Her article published in World Politics in July 2015, 'Subnationalism and Social Development: A Comparative Analysis of Indian States'  was awarded the Leubbert prize for the best article published in Comparative Politics in the last two years; the Mary Parker Follett prize for the best article published in Politics and History in the last year, both by the American Political Science Association, and the best article prize in the Sociology of Development by the American Sociological Association. Singh is also the co-editor of the Handbook of Indian Politics (Routledge 2013). She is presently working on a book that compares the differential success of interventions against disease across and within China and India.