Professor Gurharpal Singh

Emeritus Professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies SOAS University of London

School/Department: History Politics and International Relations, School of



I am a political scientist and completed my undergraduate and PhD degrees at the LSE. From 2011-17 I was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities SOAS. Currently I am Emeritus Professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies at SOAS. Before moving to SOAS I held the Nadir Dinshaw Chair in the School of Philosophy Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham and was the Deputy Director of the Religions and Development Research Programme (DFID). Prior to this appointment I was the C.R.Parekh Chair in Indian politics at the University of Hull and Principal Lecturer in the School of Humanities De Montfort University.


• Modern politics of South Asia • Sikh and Punjab studies • Multiculturalism with special reference to the City of Leicester • The Partition of India • Religions and development • Current Research Project: ‘A World Turned Upside Down: Sikhs and the Partition of India.’ Funded by the Leverhulme Trust 2018-2022 (Research Fellowship). After seventy years the causes and consequences of the partition of India are still poorly understood. Recent historiography has highlighted the need for a more developed role of religion in these processes. This project examines this perspective in the case of the minority Sikh community of Punjab. It aims to provide the first authoritative account of Sikhs and partition by evaluating the efforts of Sikh leaders to prevent the division of Punjab the impact of the pre-partition years on Sikhism the role of Sikhs in the 1947 violence and the long-term consequences for Sikhs in India and the diaspora. 


Gurharpal Singh and Giorgio Shani, Sikh Nationalism: From a Dominant Minority to an Ethno-Religious Diaspora (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022 Janaury).

Gurharpal Singh and Heewon Kim, The limits of India's ethno-linguistic federation: understanding the demise of Sikh nationalism, Regional and Federal Studies, 28:4 (2018), pp 427-445.

Roger D. Long, Yunus Samad, Gurharpal Singh, and Ian Talbot, Ian, (eds.), State and Nation-Building in Pakistan: Beyond Islam and Security (Abingdon: New York: Routledge, 2016).

Heewon Kim and Gurharpal Singh, Between Hegemonic Domination and Quest for Equality: The Challenges of Managing Religious Diversity in India Today, in Andrew Dawson (ed.), The Politics and Practice of Religious Diversity: National Contexts, Global Issues (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp 49-66.

Gurharpal Singh and Giorgio Shani, Rethinking Sikh Nationalism in the 21st Century, Sikh Formations, 11:3 (2015), pp 271-282.

Gurharpal Singh, Violence and state formation in Pakistan, in Roger D. Long, Yunus Samad, Gurharpal Singh and Ian Talbot, Ian, (eds.), State and Nation-Building in Pakistan: Beyond Islam and Security (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp 192-206.

Gurharpal Singh, Religious Transnationalism, Development and the Construction of Religious Boundaries: the case of the Dera Sachkand Ballan and Ravidass Dharm, in Global networks: a journal of transnational affairs, 13:2 (2013), pp 183-199.

Lawrence Sáez and Gurharpal Singh (eds.), New Dimensions of Politics in India: The United Progressive Alliance in Power (London: Routledge, 2012). Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies, 21.

For a full list of publications and CV, see


1.Politics of India and Pakistan. 2. Sikh Studies. 3. Leicester and multiclutralism.


I have no teaching commitments.

Press and media

1. Politics of India and Pakistan. 2. Multiculturalism and Leicester. 3 Sikhs. 4. Religious conflict.

Media coverage

BBC Radio 4; BBC Radio Leicester; Al-Jazeera; BBC Midlands


B.Sc. Econ (LSE); M.A. (University of Warwick); PhD (LSE)
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