Basil Bastaki

Basil Bastaki's picture
Graduate School Student


Broadly speaking, Basil is interested in how organizations impact state formation (i.e. political parties, traditional institutions, armed groups, businesses). His regional focus is Bengal and Northeast India. His approach is post-positivist, broadly realist, and methodologically plural; he is sensitive to case context but oriented to generalization.

For his dissertation, Basil will research the origins of political parties and party systems in colonial Assam. Why did parties emerge in some places but not others? What was the relationship between traditional elites and the new bourgouise intelectuals, and how did the new political parties mediate between traditional political institutions and modern legislative assemblies? What were their long-term legacies? How should we revise theories of (Post)colonial party origins?



  • Language Certificates, The American Institute of Indian Studies (Kolkata) and Gauhati University, 2021-2024
  • M.A. in International Relations, The University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations, 2020
  • B.S. in Foreign Service, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, 2015


  • (Under review - with Paul Staniland and Bryan Popoola) Finessing the Hobbesian Dilemma: Ending and Stabilizing Internal Conflicts in South Asia

Fields of Interest:

  • Comparative Politics
  • Formal Theory
  • Qualitative Methods


  • Assamese (Novice)
  • Bengali (Intermediate/Advanced)
  • Arabic (Professional)