Rahul Sagar

Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science, Social Science

Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi

e: rahul.sagar@nyu.edu


w: www.rahul-sagar.com

Rahul Sagar is Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science at NYU Abu Dhabi and Washington Square Fellow at NYU New York. He was previously Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale NUS and Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University.

Sagar's primary research interests are in political theory, political ethics, and public policy. He has written on a range of topics including executive power, moderation, and political realism. He is also deeply interested in the politics and society of India, especially Indian political thought.

His first book, Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy, published by Princeton University Press in 2013, received the National Academy of Public Administration’s 2014 Louis Brownlow Award, the Society for the Policy Sciences’ 2015 Myres S. McDougal Prize, and was designated a 2014 CHOICE Outstanding Title.

Sagar's work has been published in a number of edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Political Philosophy, The Journal of Politics, Ethics and International Affairs, and Polity. He is a Global Ethics Fellow at the Carnegie Council and has received grants from a number of organizations including the Smith Richardson Foundation.

He has a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University (2007) and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford University (2000). He has been cited by or appeared on a number of media outlets including CNN, BBC, NPR, ABC, Foreign Affairs, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, Deutsche Welle, Channel News Asia, and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Current Research

My research investigates moral puzzles in contemporary politics and public policy. I address these puzzles in a manner that is realistic rather than abstract or speculative. That is, I take politics as it can be in our often violent and conflicted world, not as it could be under ideal conditions. Hence, the advice and solutions I offer are sensitive to context and consequences. In slightly more technical language, I do problem-driven political theory, from a consequentialist perspective, employing realist methods.

I have recently started work on my second book project, Decent Regimes. It makes the case for respecting regimes that are not liberal democratic but that provide more stability and well-being than a democratic regime can under troubled conditions. The value of such regimes becomes clear when we see how democratization has tended to generate corrupt, violent, and illiberal regimes in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. In such cases, I argue, the international community ought to support an equivalent to a decent regime — namely, internationally administered trusteeships.

Presently I am completing a co-authored manuscript, provisionally entitled How to be Great?: India’s Quest to Find Its Place in the World. This book examines the role that Indian intellectuals, administrators, and elites believe India can and ought to play in international politics. I am responsible for the first half of the manuscript, which traces Indian thinking on war and peace since the mid-nineteenth century. The rare archival materials unearthed during my research into this topic will be published in the form of a Reader.