News Release

The Brookings Institution Welcomes Two New South Asia Scholars

December 19, 2001

Dr. Navnita Chadha Behera and Dr. Ajay Darshan Behera, experts on South Asia security policy, have joined the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution as visiting fellows. At Brookings, they will be affiliated with the India/South Asia Project, which will examine terrorism in the area, among other issues.

“We are very pleased to have Navnita and Ajay bring their expertise to Brookings. Navnita’s work on Pakistan and Kashmir and Ajay’s work on terrorism will be enormously beneficial to policymakers over the coming months,” said James B. Steinberg, vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies. “At a time when U.S. policy toward South Asia is crucial to events on the world stage, their work will enhance our growing body of research on the region,” said Stephen Philip Cohen, a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies who runs the India/South Asia Project.

At Brookings, Dr. Chadha will examine the international dimensions of the Kashmir conflict, particularly its implications for U.S. policy toward South Asia. She is working on a book on Pakistan, which will focus on identity politics, nationalism, and violence.

Before coming to Brookings, Dr. Chadha was an assistant research professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, an assistant director of Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace, also in New Delhi, and a consultant to the Ford Foundation. She is the author of State, Identity and Violence: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Manohar, 2000), the editor of State, People and Security: The South Asian Context (Haranand, 2001), and has co-authored or co-edited several other publications.

Dr. Ajay Darshan Behera is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi. He specializes in South Asian security as it relates to ethnic conflicts, insurgencies, terrorism, and violence, and has written about the Taliban, militant groups in Pakistan, light weapons, and drug trade in the region. At Brookings, he will focus on the roots of terrorism in South Asia, its social, political, and economic dynamics, and why the incidence of terrorism in the region has increased.

Before joining IDSA, Dr. Behera was an assistant research professor at the Centre for Policy Research and a visiting fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Politics of Violence and Development in South Asia (RCSS, 1999).

The Brookings India/South Asia project was established in August 1998 in response to the awareness that South Asia became a more important region in the decade following the end of the Cold War. Its objective is to conduct and disseminate research on critical regional developments, especially matters affecting U.S. relations.

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