India Speak: The CPR Podcast

CPR Perspectives Episode 11: Rohan Venkat in conversation with Rahul Verma

Episode Summary

This month on CPR Perspectives — our flagship interview series commemorating the Centre for Policy Research’s 50th anniversary — we bring you a conversation with Rahul Verma, a Fellow at CPR, where he leads the Politics Initiative. Verma is a political scientist who earned his PhD from the University of California – Berkeley, with a focus on the role of political parties, ideology and dynastic families in Indian politics. His book, Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India, questions the assumption that ideology does not play an important role in the Indian voter’s decision-making. At CPR, Verma’s work with the Politics Initiative focused on building up a core body of political research, collaborating with scholars to put out reports like Dalits in the New Millennium, and studying voter behaviour through efforts like the YouGov-CPR-Mint Millennial Survey, as well as bringing his political science lens to the State Capacity Initiative. In our conversation with Verma, we spoke about his political science background, the thinking behind his research and the motivations to enter the policy world. We also spoke about the Politics Initiative and its various projects, his work with the State Capacity Initiative and Verma’s advice for young scholars entering this world.