UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Dr Sumrin Kalia

Post-doctoral fellow

Research Summary

Dr. Sumrin Kalia is a post-doctoral fellow at the ERC funded Takhayyul Project working on South Asia. Her work at Takhayyul focuses on the socio-political processes which feed Islamist populist politics in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Through ethnographically excavating the discourses of Islamist social movements, she seeks to understand the ways through which Islamism provides imaginative and affective content to populist mobilizations. A cross-national comparison will explore not only how these discourses travel across countries but also how they are shaped to local contexts.

Conceptually her work brings together theories of civil society and Islamism while placing them in the broader domain of political culture. In her PhD, which she completed from Free University of Berlin, Sumrin explored the role of Islamist associations in strengthening and weakening civil society. She also published papers on urban conflict, bureaucratic policy making and local government in Pakistan. In these works, she highlights the importance of citizen-state interactions in shaping political culture.