Devesh Kapur

  • Starr Foundation Professor of South Asian Studies and Director of Asia Programs
  • Johns Hopkins University



Devesh Kapur is a Starr Foundation Professor of South Asian Studies and Director of Asia Programs at Johns Hopkins University. Devesh has a distinguished background in research and academia. He joined the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in July 2018 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India, holding the Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India. Prior to his tenure at Penn, he was Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Frederick Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard. Kapur received the Joseph R. Levenson Teaching Prize, awarded to the best junior faculty at Harvard College and Outstanding Teaching in Political Science by the American Political Science Association, in 2005.

Kapur’s research has focused on five broad areas that examine the political and institutional determinants of economic development: international financial institutions; political and economic consequences of international and internal migration; the effects of market forces and urbanization on the well-being of socially marginalized groups in India; governance and public institutions; and higher education. His book, Diaspora, Democracy and Development: The Impact of International Migration from India on India (Princeton University Press) earned him a 2012 Distinguished Book Award of the International Studies Association, while The Other One Percent: Indians in American (with Sanjoy Chakravorty and Nirvikar Singh) was a Choice Outstanding Title of 2017. His other publications include The World Bank: Its First Half Century (with John Lewis and Richard Webb) and Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs (co-authored with D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad). His latest edited works are Navigating the Labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s Higher Education (with Pratap Bhanu Mehta), Rethinking Public Institutions in India (with Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Milan Vaishnav), The Costs of Democracy: Political Finance in India (with Milan Vaishnav) and Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance (with Madhav Khosla)

Professor Kapur holds a B. Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University; an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota; and a Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.