Since joining the Institute of Developing Economies in 1981, I have studied contemporary Indian politics and society, mainly from the perspective of regional studies and comparative politics. As a visiting researcher at the Indian Institute of Public Administration from 1986 to 1988 and at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Center for the Study of Law and Governance (Delhi) from 2004 to 2006, I studied Indian politics and rural development. Since 2006, I have conducted research at the South Asian Studies Group of the Area Studies Center, with a focus on Indian elections (in particular, the federal lower house elections), the federal system (including relationships between the central government and state governments), rural development administration, food issues, and current affairs. Also, I have recently written about Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, particularly the civil war and post-civil war ethnic reconciliation, as well as Maldivian politics.
Current research projects
At present, I am analyzing the politics and current affairs of northeastern India within the context of the country’s national integration and federal system. In addition, from a wider perspective, I am conducting comparative research on five major South Asian democracies. Topics such as how to understand democracy and its stability are both old and new, and I aim to theoretically organize relevant concepts in a practical manner by comparing these five major South Asian countries that have been shaken by ethnic issues and national integration. Current debates in comparative politics include how to consider the wide spectrum with liberal democracy on one end and authoritarianism on the other. For example, although India is considered a democracy, many point out problems in terms of liberalism, and some argue that the country’s political system is rather authoritarian. I would like to examine whether liberal democracy will take root in the region.