Prerna Singh is Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, with appointments in the School of Public Health and the Department of Sociology at Brown University.

She has published numerous award-winning books and articles on human development, public health, ethnicity and nationalism. Her first book, How Solidarity Works for Welfare was awarded best book prizes from both the American Political Science and the American Sociological Associations.

Singh has been awarded fellowships by the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the Social Science Research Council, the Andrew Carnegie foundation, the American Academy of Berlin, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and the American Institute of Indian Studies.

She has shared her research with scholarly, policy and popular audiences in over a hundred lectures, including keynote addresses, delivered across twenty different countries.

Singh serves on the academic advisory board of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, the steering committee of the Center for Contemporary South Asia at Brown, is a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and co-convenes the Brown-Harvard-MIT Joint Seminar in South Asian Politics. She also serves on the editorial board of Cambridge University Press’s Elements in the Politics of Development series and was previously on the editorial board of the journal, Studies in Comparative International Development. From 2021-23, Singh will serve as President of the Comparative Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

She is presently working on two single-authored book projects. The first develops a moral theory of popular compliance with public health interventions, such as vaccination, through a comparison of China and India from the turn of the nineteenth into the twentieth century. The second book project explores the potential construction and consequences of an inclusive nationalism.

In addition, she is working on a range of collaborative projects around the themes of nationalism and public health. This includes co-authoring a book ‘National Solidarities and Strong States: When and Why Ethnic Diversity is not a Curse for Development and Democracy’ with Matthias vom Hau for Cambridge University Press’s Elements in the Politics of Development series and Columbia World Projects’ project on Increasing Covid-19 Vaccine Confidence.

Singh has contributed popular writing to the LA Times, the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and the Indian magazine, Seminar among other outlets.

She has studied at Princeton, Cambridge and Delhi Universities. Prior to joining Brown, she was on the faculty of the Department of Government at Harvard University.


The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brown University
111 Thayer Street
Providence, RI 02912


Download CV