Head of Department

Prof Mukherji

Prof. Dr. Rahul Mukherji 

Prof. Dr. Rahul Mukherji joined Heidelberg University as professor and head of the Department of Political Science at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University in 2016. He teaches in the area of Comparative Politics and International Relations of South Asia. His current research projects involve democratic backsliding, politics of welfare and climate change, and India’s emergence in the global order. He is the Editor of Indian Politics and Policy journal. He also serves on the board of journals such as Governance, Global Public Policy and Governance, Pacific Affairs, India Review and The Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences.




No Picture W Tanja Kohl      

Assistant Professor


Dr. Seyed Hossein Zarhani  

Dr. Seyed Hossein Zarhani is an Assistant Professor at the Political Science Department of the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University. He is currently pursuing his habilitation with a comparative research project on the political economy in Iran and India.



Dr. Harsh Mander

Dr. Harsh Mander is a Phd from Vrije Univesity, Amsterdam and works as human rights and peace activist, writer, columist, researcher and teacher. He supports survivors of mass violence, people threatened by hunger, homeless persons and street children. Mander is the Chairperson of the Centre for Equity Studies and founded, convenes and edits the annual India Exclusion Report to document the experience of disadvantaged people in the state. He lead an initiative called Karwan e Mohabbad to counter hatred and violence against minorities. In 2022, Mander was shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Dr. Dieter Reinhardt

Dr. Dieter Reinhardt teaches the course "Indo-German Relations. History and Perspectives". He is interested in global governance in the context of UN missions, new forms of regionalization in South Asia, Sino-Indian relations, migration and the Bangladesh diaspora, water governance, prevention of humanitarian disasters, and the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany.


Student Assistants

Prateek  Pankaj

Prateek is a master's student at the South Asia Institute, currently in his final semester writing his thesis  with the History department on aspects of colonial policing in India in the 1930s and 1940s. He completed his undergraduate education from Hindu College, University of Delhi with an honours degree in History. His research interests include colonialism, policing and state power, democracy, caste, violence and nationalism.



Farhan Zaheer

Farhan Zaheer is a Ph.D. Candidate at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University. His doctoral research title is ‘Exploring State Capacity in Pakistan: The Case of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’. He also did his Masters from the South Asia Institute in 2020 and the title of his thesis was ‘Stagnant Textile Exports of Pakistan: A Case of Weak State Capacity’.


Dunya Wasella    

Dunya Wasella is currently enrolled in the two bachelor's degrees Modern South Asian languages (BA South Asian Studies) and Political Science (BA). She works at the Department of Political Science of the South Asia Institute as a student assistant. Ms. Wasella is a recipient of the Villigst scholarship. She is interested in comparative politics, political theory, modern religions as well as Hindi and Urdu literature.


Aditya Picture


Mathias O'Mahony

Mathias is a master's student at the South Asia Institute, currently in his final semester writing his thesis on the Indo-German and Indo-French defence cooperation. He completed his bachelor's degree from the University of Passau in European Studies, during which he stayed in India as an exchange student with IIT Madras and Delhi University. His research interests include Indo-German relations, climate politics, caste politics and democratic backsliding.

German Chancellor Fellow (Humboldt Foundation)

Aditya Picture

Aditya Shrivastava

Aditya Shrivastava is a Humboldt Chancellor Fellow hosted by the Department of Political Science, undertaking comparative research on legal regulations for civil society organizations. He is a legal professional in India’s development and social sector. He provides legal support to NGOs, social movements, institutions, and grassroots activists through various methods, including research, strategic litigation, advocacy and capacity building. He maintains an action-oriented and community-focused approach in his work. His core interests are civic spaces freedoms, the right to food and digital rights.



Marie Curie Fellow and Ph.D-Candidate

Jai Prasad

Jai Shankar Prasad​​                                                    

Jai Shankar Prasad is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany. Mr. Prasad was awarded the Marie Curie Fellowship to do his doctoral research titled "Revisiting the State: Politics, Development, and Tribal Welfare in Jharkhand, India". His research interests include the state and redistributive politics, public policy and governance, development and social welfare of indigenous peoples, and higher education and society.





Matias Lennart Castrén

Matias Lennart Carsten is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany.


Former Employees and Guest Professors

Professor Emeritus


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Latest Revision: 2024-03-18
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