CIRS Steering Committee


Sonia Alonso is an Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Prior to joining the faculty she was a Research Fellow at the Social Science Research Center in Berlin (WZB) for ten years, where she also taught post-graduate courses at Humboldt University. She is the author of three books, one of them published by Oxford University Press, fourteen articles in comparative political science indexed journals (5 JCRs and 8 SJRs in Q1), two edited volumes, one of which with Cambridge University Press, and eight book chapters. Her research interests include political regimes and democratization, European political institutions, political parties, federalism and political behaviour. At present, she is working on far right parties in Europe, the crisis of mainstream political parties and citizens’ mistrust of democracy.


Uday Chandra is an Assistant Professor of Government. He received his B.A. in economics from Grinnell College and his PhD in political science from Yale University in 2013. He is interested in state-society relations, power and resistance, political violence, agrarian change, and the philosophy of the social sciences. His work has been published in the Law & Society ReviewCritical SociologySocial Movement StudiesNew Political ScienceThe Journal of Contemporary AsiaContemporary South Asia, and The Indian Economic & Social History Review. He has co-edited volumes and journal special issues on caste hierarchies, the ethics of self-making, the politics of the poor, and social movements in India. His first book, Resistance as Negotiation: Making States and Tribes in Modern India, is forthcoming with Stanford University Press. He is also working on a book on religious nationalism and democratic politics in contemporary India and beyond.

Eddie final

Eddie Kolla has taught history for 10 years at Georgetown University in Qatar. He has held research fellowships, most recently, at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. His work sits at the intersection of history, international relations, and law and includes Sovereignty, International Law, and the French Revolution (Cambridge, 2017). He is currently finishing a book on the history of passports. People take it for granted that they require a passport to travel. And yet, surprisingly, neither the form nor function of today’s passport is codified in international law. Rather, the story of how these little booklets developed is an incredibly idiosyncratic one, in which a number of features of travel documents throughout history haphazardly coalesced into the now-ubiquitous and indispensable passport, issued and accepted by states around the world but still lacking a solid foundation in international law.


M. Reza Pirbhai is an Associate Professor, specializing in South Asian and World history. His research is focused on Islam in Modern South Asia. He earned a doctorate in History from the University of Toronto (Canada) in 2004. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown he was Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba (Canada) and Associate Professor at Louisiana State University (USA). His articles/book chapters on such topics as Islamic law and theology, Hindu nationalism and British travel literature have appeared in the Journal of Asian History, Modern Intellectual History and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Hawwa and the Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law. He is also the author of the books Reconsidering Islam in a South Asian Context, published by E.J. Brill (2009), and Fatima Jinnah: Mother of the Nation, published by Cambridge University Press (2017).