Prof. R. Sudarshan has had distinguished careers in the domains of research, development programming and governance. After he obtained a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics he was elected to a Rhodes scholarship. He joined Balliol College, University of Oxford, and obtained a Master’s degree in Politics in 1977. He was elected to a research fellowship at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, where he studied judicial review of economic legislation by the Supreme Court of India, specializing in the interface of law and economics. In 1983 he was a visiting scholar in the School of International Development, University of East Anglia.
In 1984 he served in the Ford Foundation’s South Asia Office in New Delhi as Assistant Representative and Program Officer for Human Rights and Social Justice. In 1991 he joined the UNDP in India as Senior Economist and Assistant Representative for Governance and Public Policy. In 2000 he served UNDP in Jakarta as its Senior Governance Advisor. In 2002 he was appointed Policy Advisor for Justice and Governance in the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre. In 2005, he was transferred to the UNDP Asia-Pacific Centre in Bangkok, where he was Regional Policy Advisor for Governance, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice, and Legal Reforms.
In 2012 he joined the O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) as the founding Dean of the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy. He has an impressive track record of publications comprising books, articles, and UN policy reports, reflecting his inter-disciplinary research, teaching and policy experience in development programmes, human development, law, governance, institutions and policy.
Co-edited books, with chapter contributions
- Judges and the Judicial Power: Essays in Honor of Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Sweet and Maxwell, London, 1981, (co-edited with Rajeev. Dhavan & Salman Khurshid)
- Human Development and Structural Adjustment: Papers and Proceedings of UNDP Symposium on Economic Growth, Sustainable Human Development, and Poverty, Bombay, January 1992, Macmillan India, Madras, 1993 (co-edited with Kirit S. Parikh)
- India under Siege – Challenges within and Without, Wiley Eastern Ltd, New Delhi, 1995 (co-edited with Muchkund Dubey, et al).
- Sites of Change: The Structural Context for Empowering Women in India, Tulika, New Delhi, 1996 (co-edited with N. Rao and L. Rurup).
- Income Poverty and Beyond: Human Development in India, Social Science Press, New Delhi 1999 (co-edited with Raja Chelliah).
- Reforming India’s Social Sector: Poverty, Nutrition, Health & Education, Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2002 (co-edited with Seeta Prabhu).
- India’s Living Constitution: 50 Years of the Republic, Permanent Black, Delhi, 2002 (co-edited with Zoya Hassan and E. Sridharan)
- Accelerating Achievement of MDGs by Ways and Means of Economic and Social Rights, UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, Bangkok, 2012 (co-edited with Marcus Brand).
- The Supreme Court as an Arena of Class Conflict: Colonial Antecedents and Contemporary Crisis in an Immobilized State, The State in South Asia, Development Studies Occasional Paper No.22, School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 1983.
- Political Community and Economic Life, in Good Citizenship: Rights, Duties, Responsibilities, eds. Shyam Ratna Gupta and Urs W. Schottli, Roli Books International, New Delhi, 1987.
- Human Rights and Development, in Human Rights in the Changing World, ed., Justice E.S. Venkataramiah, International Law Association, New Delhi, 1988.
- The Microfoundations of Structural Change: Theory, Ideology and Action in Law and Economics, in Law and Social Change, ed., J.S. Gandhi, Rawat Publications, Jaipur, 1989.
- In Quest of State: Politics and Judiciary in India, Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, March 1990.
- Human Development: Concept and Measurement, in Reaching the Unreached – Ecotechnology and Rural Employment, ed., M.S. Swaminathan, Macmillan, Madras, 1994.
- The Political Consequences of Constitutional Discourse, in State & Nation in the Context of Social Change, ed., T.V. Sathyamurthy, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1994.
- Gold Strikes: From Kolar Gold Fields to Delhi School of Economics, in D-School, eds., Dharma Kumar and Dilip Mookherjee, Oxford University Press, 1995.
- Philosophical Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, in Farmers’ Rights and Plant Genetic Resources: Recognition and Reward, ed., M.S. Swaminathan, Macmillan, 1995.
- Some Reflections on International Development Aid, in Development Aid Today, eds., A. Dasgupta and G. Lechner, Mosaic Books, New Delhi, 1995.
- Law and Democracy in India, International Social Science Journal, July 1997.
- Globalization and Gandhiji, Analyst, New Delhi, August 1997.
- Human Rights: Hazards and Hopes, Voices, Bangalore, December 1998.
- Stateness and Democracy in India’s Constitution, in India’s Living Constitution: 50 Years of the Republic, edited by R. Sudarshan, E. Sridharan, and Zoya Hassan (Permanent Black, New Delhi, 2002).
- Avatars of Rule of Law and Development: Some Asian Aspects in Justice for the Poor, eds. Gita Welch and Ayesha Dias, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2009.
Public policy and development programmes: Design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Interface of law and economics.
Governance and public policy.
Legal Empowerment of the Poor.
State and non-state justice institutions.