Professor of Political Science
Madan Lal Sobti Professor for the Study of Contemporary India
University of Pennsylvania
Tariq Thachil is the Director of CASI, Professor of Political Science at Penn, and the Madan Lal Sobti Professor for the Study of Contemporary India. He began his directorship July 1, 2020.
Professor Thachil replaces Marshall M. Bouton (Acting Director & Visiting Scholar, 2018-20) and Devesh Kapur (Director, 2006-18). CASI was founded in 1992 by Francine R. Frankel (Director, 1992-2006).
Prior to arriving at Penn, Professor Thachil was Associate Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, and before that was Peter Strauss Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University (2003), and a Ph.D in Government from Cornell University (2009).
His research examines political parties and political behavior, identity politics, and urbanization with a regional focus on India. His first book, Elite Parties, Poor Voters: How Social Services Win Votes in India (Cambridge 2014)—an examination of the growing success of the Bharatiya Janata Party among disadvantaged electorates—won numerous awards from the American Political Science Association, including the 2015 Gregory Luebbert Award for best book in comparative politics and the 2015 Leon Epstein Award for best book on political parties.
Professor Thachil's current research focuses on the political consequences of urbanization in India. His second book (co-authored with Adam Auerbach), Migrants and Machine Politics: How India’s Urban Poor Seek Representation and Responsiveness, was published by Princeton University Press (Studies in Political Behavior Series) in 2023. An article from this project received the 2018 Heinz I. Eulau Award for the best article published in the American Political Science Review. His articles are published or forthcoming in a number of journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, and World Politics. He frequently writes for press outlets in India, including The Indian Express and Hindustan Times.