Sunil Khilnani was born in New Delhi, and was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge; and further gained a PhD in Social and Political Sciences at King’s College.
From 2002 to 2011, he was the Starr Foundation Professor at the John Hopkins
University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C.,
and Director of South Asia Studies at SAIS, a program that he established in 2002.
Sunil Khilnani’s research interests lie at the intersection of various fields:
intellectual history and the study of political thought, the history of modern
India, democratic theory in relation to its recent non-Western experiences, the
politics of contemporary India, and strategic thought in the definition of India’s
place in the world. He is a regular contributor to the Indian and international
Khilnani was formerly Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of
London. He has been a visiting Professor of Politics at Seikei University, Tokyo,
and was elected a Research Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge. He has also
held a Leverhulme Fellowship, and has been a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., a Fellow of the Institute for
Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, and a Fellow of the American
Academy in Berlin.
Khilnani received the BIG Indian Award 2017 (Arts & Culture) for his
outstanding commitment to building UK-India relations. He was a Berlin Prize
Fellow in 2010 and a recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the
Government of India in 2005.
His most recent book is Incarnations: A History of India in 50 Lives (2016), which
accompanies his 50-part podcast and radio series broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and
BBC World Service in 2015-2016.
Khilnani is currently the Director of the King’s College London India Institute and
a holder of the Avantha Chair at King’s College London. During 2017-18, he will
be a visiting professor at Princeton University. He divides his time between London, India and USA.