Walter Andersen

Walter Andersen, PhD

Administrative Director of the South Asia Studies Program
South Asia Studies

Rome 722


  • Afghanistan
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Intelligence
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Strategic and Security Issues
  • Terrorism
  • U.S. Congress and Foreign Policy
  • German
  • Hindi

Background and Education

Recently retired as chief of the US State Department's South Asia Division in the Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia; held other key positions within the State Department, including special assistant to the ambassador at the US Embassy in New Delhi and member of the Policy Planning Staff in Washington, DC; previously taught at the University of Chicago and the College of Wooster; current research involves Hindu nationalism and India's assertive foreign policy in the Indian Ocean and its littoral; PhD, political science, University of Chicago

2015-02-25 00:00:00 
Fall 2014 
Introduces the ...
Introduces the political development of South Asian states (including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). The subcontinent has a growing relevance in international politics, and domestic developments play a significant role in determining the external policies of the various regional states. The course draws on South Asian examples to elaborate on themes relevant to the general study of political change in other developing countries: democracy, governance and civil society, state institutions, the press, federalism, political parties, religion in political development, identities and new nationalisms, social movements, the politics of gender issues and the politics of economic reform.
Fall 2014 
Infrastructure ...
Infrastructure is a critical element in economic development, but it is much more. Infrastructure has an important impact on shaping state/center relations (and by extension on the related notion of national identity), on the role of private and public capital in funding and managing infrastructure development, on the formation of social classes, and on national interests (and by extension relations with neighboring states). Because these issues address sensitive political questions, this is a political economy course that will focus heavily on how and why decisions are reached on infrastructure issues and on the impact of group interests and national security. Our case studies will be drawn largely from India, the largest and by far the wealthiest South Asian state, and it is committed to spending at least one trillion dollars on infrastructure over the next five years. We will however, make comparative references to other states in South Asia. We will focus on four very important aspects of development: energy, water, telecommunication and transportation. There is no prerequisite for this class, though taking the course on Comparative Political and Economic Development of South Asia, taught each year in the first semester, would be helpful. Students in the course are strongly encourage to apply for the January 2014 trip to India, sponsored by the South Asia program, where we will have on-the-ground opportunities to analyze some of the political economy issues introduced in the course. Most expenses will be covered by the South Asia program.