Dr Vikram Visana

Lecturer in Political Theory

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


Address: Room ATT1010, Floor 10, Attenborough Building.





I joined the School of History, Politics and International Relations as a Lecturer in Political Theory in May 2022. Before this, I was a Dahlem Postdoctoral Fellow at the Free University of Berlin and worked as a historian of political thought at the Universities of Huddersfield and Edinburgh. At Leicester, I'm also the Admissions Tutor for Politics & International Relations.

My major research to date has focussed on Indian liberalism with my first book, Uncivil Liberalism: Labour, Capital and Commercial Society in Dadabhai Naoroji's Political Thought (2022) exploring the contribution of Indian liberalism to global ideas of sociality and political economy. I have since worked on article-length pieces on the political thought of the founder of Hindu nationalism, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. More recently, my second book-length project has turned to political emotion and republicanism in the political theory of the Global South with a particular focus on humiliation as a form of political domination.


  • Indian Political Thought, c. 1750 to present
  • Liberalism and Republicanism in the Global South
  • Hindu Nationalism/Hindutva
  • Postcolonialism and Political Emotion
  • The Political Theory of Race and Caste



Uncivil Liberalism: Labour, Capital and Commercial Society in Dadabhai Naoroji’s Political Thought, Cambridge University Press, 2022 (Finalist for the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Prize 2023).


Journal Articles

'Glory and Humiliation in the Making of V. D. Savarkar’s Hindu Nationalism’, The Historical Journal  66,1 (2022), pp. 165-185.

'Savarkar before Hindutva: Sovereignty, Republicanism, and Populism in India. c.1900-1920', Modern Intellectual History 18, 4 (2021), pp. 1106-1129.

'Beyond Citizen and Subject: New Perspectives on British Political Thought and Indirect Rule in Africa’, History Compass 17, 3 (2019), pp. 1-13.

'Vernacular Liberalism, Capitalism, and Anti-Imperialism in the Political Thought of Dadabhai Naoroji’, The Historical Journal 59, 3 (2016), pp. 775-797.



'Race and Caste in Modern Indian Political Thought', in Sarah Dunstan and Ian Stewart eds., Race and Modern Intellectual History (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

'Indian Political Thought and Florence Nightingale's Ideas on Indian Healthcare', in A. Nandha, P. Bhatnagar and C. Hallett eds., Florence Nightingale and Healthcare: Lessons for a Post-pandemic Era (Routledge, forthcoming). 

with Prof. Nadia Urbinati, ‘Beyond the Polis: Transforming Sovereignty’ in Eugenio Biagini and Gary Gerstle eds., A Cultural History of Democracy Vol. 6: A Cultural History of Democracy in the Modern Age (Bloomsbury, 2021).

‘Decolonizing Capital: Indian Political Economy in the Shadow of Empire’, in Maureen Ruprecht Fadem and Michael O’Sullivan eds., Economics after Empire: Genealogies of Capital and the Colonial Encounter (Routledge, 2020).


Prospective PhD students may request supervision in the following or related areas:

  • Indian Political Thought, c. 1750 to present
  • Liberalism and Republicanism in the Global South
  • Hindu Nationalism/Hindutva
  • Postcolonialism and Political Emotion
  • The Political Theory of Race and Caste


Current PGR students are working on:

  • Black British Political Thought (co-supervisor PhD)
  • Islamic Political Thought in Pakistan (supervisor MRes Dissertation)




I currently convene and teach on the first-year core politics module: PL1019: Introduction to Politics.

I also teach on the first-year module PL1011: Political Concepts and the second-year module PL2011: Political Ideas. 

Finally, I convene and teach my research-based final-year module PL3153: Race, Caste and Political Theory


I contribute seminars on Indian international relations to the MA module "International Relations after the Cold War". On the history side of the School, I also contribute seminars on "global intellectual history" to the MA module on Global History.

Press and media

I am happy to work with media on topics relating to South Asian, British-Asian, and racial politics. Please contact to get in touch.


Previously, I have been interviewed for BBC News East Midlands, BBC Politics East Midlands, and The Quint.

I have also appeared on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking to discuss Hindu nationalism the politics of postcolonial architecture. 

Gandhi and Indian Architecture

Hindu Nationalism and Populism

I've also been a consultant on political thought and history on South Asian characters for the videogame developer Failbetter Games and their Fallen London series. Being paid to play computer games and offer feedback is a job - would recommend!


  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Peer-Review Panel for the Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • Editorial Board, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society
  • Editorial Board, Intellectual History Review
  • Member, Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought
  • Member, British Association of South Asian Studies


  • BA (Hons) History
  • MSc Theory and History of International Relations
  • PhD History of Political Thought
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
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