Sunil Khilnani is Avantha Professor and Director, King's India Institute, at King's College London.
Dr. 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 was born in New Delhi and grew up in India, Africa, and Europe. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he took a first in Social and Political Sciences, and at King's College, Cambridge, where he gained his PhD in Social and Political Sciences. From 2001 to 2011, Dr. Khilnani was the Starr Foundation Professor at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C., and Director of South Asia Studies at SAIS, a programme that he established in 2002.
Prior to his current responsibility since June 2011, Dr. Khilnani was 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 DC, a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, and a Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.
He has served as a member of several editorial boards and councils, including Economy and Society, Critique Internationale, the Political Quarterly, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes; He is a Governor of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust, and in 2005 he was awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, by the Indian government.
His publications include Arguing Revolution: The Intellectual Left in Postwar France (1993), Civil Society: History and Possibilities (with Sudipta Kaviraj, 2001), and The Idea of India, published in a new edition in 2012. He contributes regularly to the national and international media.