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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Nivi Manchanda, BA (SOAS), MPhil (Cambridge), PhD (Cambridge)


Senior Lecturer in International Politics

Telephone: 020 7882 6913
Room Number: Arts One, Room 2.16A
Office Hours: Only by appointment (on research leave)


Nivi joined the School of Politics and International Relations in 2017. She has previously worked at the LSE and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. She completed her PhD in 2014 from the University of Cambridge where her thesis – titled Imagining Afghanistan: the History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge Production -- was awarded the Best PhD dissertation in the Arts and Social Sciences by Clare Hall. Her book loosely based on this research is now out with Cambridge University Press.

She blogs at the and is the Co-Convener of the BISA Colonial Postcolonial and Decolonial Working Group.

See Nivi Manchanda's profile on

Office hour joining link 


In Semester A, Nivi will be on research leave.

In Semester B, Nivi will be teaching at the University of London in Paris (ULIP).


Research Interests:

Nivi’s research interests include post- and de-colonial theoretical approaches to the study of world politics. She is especially interested in the ways in which knowledge is produced and the raced, classed and gendered nature of both ‘expertise’ and ‘common-sense’.

Although she doesn’t have a regional focus per se, she is especially interested in the United States’ imperial interventions in the name of the ‘War on Terror’.

Her new research project is on the racialized nature of security both in its theoretical underpinnings and its political praxis.

Examples of research funding:

Nivi received funding for her PhD from the Cambridge Commonwealth Trusts. She has also been the recipient of numerous other grants including Santander Research Grants and the Cambridge Political Economy Trust.



Imagining Afghanistan: the History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Race and Racism in International Relations: Confronting the Global Colour Line, with Alex Anievas and Robbie Shilliam (eds) (Routledge 2015)

Journal Articles:

‘The Imperial Sociology of the “Tribe” in Afghanistan, Millennium, vol. 46, no. 1 pp 165-189 2018

‘Rendering Afghanistan Legible: Practices of (dis)order and the ‘state of Afghanistan’ Politics vol. 37, no. 4, pp 386-401, 2017

‘Queering the Pashtun: Afghan Sexuality in the Homonationalist Imaginary’, Third World Quarterly, volume 36, no. 1, 2015 pp130-14

‘The Graveyard of Empires: Haunting, Amnesia and Afghanistan’s Construction as a Burial Site’ Middle East Critique, Vol 28, no. 3 pp 307-320

‘Empires H(a)unting Grounds: Theorising Violence and resistance in Egypt and Afghanistan’ with Sara Salem Current Sociology vol. 68, no. 2 (2020): 241-262

Book chapters:

‘The Imperial Sociology of the ‘Tribe’ Handbook of Postcolonial Politics, edited by Robbie Shilliam and Olivia Rutazibwa, London: Routledge, 2018

‘Security and Postcolonialism’ Security Studies: An Introduction edited by Paul Williams and Matt McDonalds, London: Routledge, 2018

‘Gender, Nation and Nationalism’ (with Leah de Haan) in Race, Gender and Culture in International Relations: Postcolonial Perspectives edited by Randolph Persaud and Alina Sajed, London: Routledge, 2018

‘Race and Racism’ in the Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations, Oxford University Press edited by Eddy Keene, Maja Spanu and Christian Reuss-Smit (forthcoming, 2020)

Selected Opinion Pieces and Book Reviews:

Review of Bob Vitalis’s White World Order, Black Power Politics (2016) available at:

Review of Megan Daigle’s From Cuba with Love (2015) available at:

‘Out of Nowhere: Taliban and Malala’ OpenDemocracy (November 2012) available at:


Nivi is currently supervising Mirko Palestrino, Lucy Kneebone and Manuela Da Rosa Jorge.

She would be keen to supervise students work on colonial and decolonial thought, race and racism, practices of borders and bordering, and postcolonial/queer of colour critique.

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