Dr. Michael Liebig

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Research Fields / Interests

  • Pre-modern political thought in South Asia, notably Kautilya's Arthashastra
  • Flow, re-use and latent presence of pre-modern political thought in contemporary South Asia
  • International Relations theory
  • Intelligence Studies

About Michael Liebig

Michael Liebig defended his doctoral dissertation “Endogenous Politico-Cultural Resources – The Relevance of Kautilya’s Arthashastra for Modern India” in Political Science at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main (external supervisor: Prof. Subrata Mitra).

After studying Political Science at the Otto-Suhr-Institut, Freie Universität, Berlin and Goethe-University, Frankfurt (Diplom-Politologe), Michael Liebig has worked as employed and free-lance journalist.

Michael Liebig has frequently been to India in the context of journalistic work. In 2014 and again in 2016, he had a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi, extending over five-month period.

Since 2013, Michael Liebig was a Fellow at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University. Since   2015, he was Lecturer at the Department of Political Science.

In Octobre 2019, he was appointed Distinguished Fellow by the United Service Institutions of India (USI-CAFHR) for his outstanding contribution to the field of Indian strategic culture.

Dr. Michael Liebig died of cancer on April 15, 2020. His two most recent articles were published posthumously.


  • Endogenous Politico-Cultural Resources: The Relevance of Kautilya's Arthashastra for Modern India (Seminar, SoSe 2015)
  • Kautilya and Machiavelli: Political Realism in a Transcultural Perspective I (Seminar, WS 2015/16)
  • Kautilya, Hans J. Morgenthau and E.H. Carr: Political Realism in a Transcultural Perspective II(Seminar, SoSe 2016)
  • Political Prudence - A European and a South Asian Tradition in IR Theory (Seminar, WS 2016/17)
  • Intelligence Culture in South Asia (Seminar, SoSe 2017)
  • Kautilya's Arthashastra and Indian Security Policy (Seminar, WS 2017/18)
  • Counter-Insurgency in India: Politics, Security-Vectored State Bureaucracy & the ‘Kautilyan Template (Seminar, SoSe 2018)
  • Kautilya ‘meets’ Max-Weber – Political-Bureaucratic Interaction in India (WS 2018-19)


  • Michael Liebig (2021): Interrogating ‚Hyphenated Cultures‘: India’s Strategic Culture  and its Intelligence Culture. Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3, July-September 2021, pp. 9-40.
  • Michael Liebig (2020): India’s Strategic Culture and its Kautilyan Lineage , Journal of the United Service Institution of India, Vol. CL, No. 622, Oct.-Dec. 2020.
  • Subrata Mitra and Michael Liebig (2017): Kautilya’s Arthashastra: An Intellectual Portrait. The Classical Roots of Modern Politics in India. New Delhi: Rupa.  
  • Michael Liebig & Saurabh Mishra (Eds.) (2017): The Arthaśātra in a Transcultural Perspective: Comparing Kautilya with Sun-Zi, Nizam al-Mulk, Barani and Machiavelli. New Delhi: IDSA/Pentagon Press.
  • Subrata Mitra and Michael Liebig (2016): Kautilya’s Arthashastra: An Intellectual Portrait. The Classical Roots of Modern Politics in India. Baden-Baden: Nomos
  • Dany Shoham and Michael Liebig (2016): The intelligence dimension of Kautilyan statecraft and its implications for the present. Journal of Intelligence History (Taylor & Francis). 15/2, pp. 119-138
  • Liebig, Michael (2014): Endogene Politisch-Kultuelle Ressourcen: Die Relevanz des Kautilya-Arthashastra für das moderne Indien. Baden-Baden: Nomos
  • Liebig, Michael (2014): Kauilya's Arthasastra - A Classic Text of Statecraft and an Untapped Political Science Resource. Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics, 74 http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/portale/hdpaper/
  • Liebig, Michael (2014): Statecraft and Intelligence Analysis in the Kautilya-Arthashastra, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 8/4, pp. 27-54 http://idsa.in/jds/8_4_2014_StatecraftandIntelligenceAnalysis.html
  • Liebig, Michael (2013): Kautilya's Relevance for India Today. India Quarterly (Sage), 69/2, pp. 99-116
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Letzte Änderung: 2022-02-25
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