Sagnik Dutta specialises in political theory, political anthropology, critical socio-legal studies, and feminist and critical international relations. They hold a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge. Dutta is dedicated to bringing the disciplines of political science and international relations in conversation with political and legal anthropology. To this end, their research builds upon ethnographic fieldwork on working class Muslim women’s activism in contemporary India to deparochialise debates on minority rights, gender, and liberalism in political theory and international relations that are usually explored through the prism of liberal multiculturalism. Dutta challenges existing Eurocentrism of debates on minority rights.
In their research, they show how everyday ethical negotiations inspired by transnational Islamic feminist epistemologies and activist practices as well as local legal cultures of engaging the law and the everyday state shape meanings and practices of Muslim minority activism. They also show how global discourses of Islamism, Islamophobia, and Islamic reformism can be explored in the everyday life of the law using a feminist and postcolonial lens. Dutta’s research and pedagogy is invested in decolonising the disciplines of Political Science and International Studies as well as the law using feminist epistemologies and grounded theorising that builds upon ethnographic research.
This research has been supported by several prestigious scholarships and grants including the Gates Cambridge doctoral scholarship award, Smuts Commonwealth award, and the American Political Science Association travel grant. This research has appeared in prominent journals in the field of gender studies and socio-legal studies such as Feminist Theory, Law and Social Inquiry, and Ethnicities. Dutta’s other strand of research concerns critical counterterrorism studies, populism, and everyday securitisation. They are working towards a collaborative research project to study the relationship between counterterrorism practices and colonial legacies of emergency politics in a comparative perspective along with collaborators at Leiden University. They were recently awarded a seed grant by Leiden University and the Hague University of Applied Social Sciences for this project.