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Karuna Mantena

Professor, Political Science, Columbia University

Governing Board Member, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2024–

email address [email protected] website Faculty Webpage
Headshot of Karuna Mantena

Karuna Mantena specializes in political theory with research interests in the theory and history of empire, South Asian intellectual history, and postcolonial democracy. She holds a B.Sc.(economics) in international relations from the London School of Economics (1995), an M.A. in ideology and discourse analysis from the University of Essex (1996), and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University (2004). Her first book, Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism (Princeton, 2010), analyzed the transformation of nineteenth-century British imperial ideology. She is finishing a book on M. K. Gandhi and the politics of nonviolence. She is also co-director of the Conference for the Study of Political Thought.

Some of Mantena's recent publications include: “Exemplary Citizens and the Symbolic Politics of Nonviolent Protest,” Nonviolence and Truth in Post-Truth Times, edited by Vinay Lal (OUP, forthcoming); “Political Identity and Postcolonial Democracy,” On the Subject of Citizenship: Late Colonialism in the World Today, edited by Suren Pillay (Zed/Bloomsbury, 2023), “Mass Satyagraha and the Problem of Collective Power,” Political Imaginaries: Rethinking India’s Twentieth Century, edited by Manu Goswami and Mrinalini Sinha (Bloomsbury, 2022); “Anticolonialism and the Decolonization of Political Theory,” with Adom Getachew, Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory 4:3 (2021); “Competing Theories of Nonviolence,” Protest and Dissent: NOMOS LXII, edited by Melissa Schwartzberg (NYU, 2020); “Showdown for Nonviolence: The Theory and Practice of Nonviolence,” To Shape a New World: The Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Brandon Terry and Tommie Shelby (2018).