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Skidmore College
International Affairs Program
Mahesh Shankar

Mahesh Shankar

Contact Information & Background

Associate Professor and Director
International Affairs Program
Phone: 518-580-8426
Office: PMH 261


  • Ph.D. in Political Science, McGill University    
  • M.A. International Relations, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  • B.A. (Honours) English, Delhi University, India

Current Courses

  • IA 101: Introduction to International Affairs
  • IA 201: Research methods in International Affairs
  • IA 376: IA Senior Capstone
  • IA 351: Asian International Affairs
  • IA 351: Causes of War, Paths to Peace
  • MB 351: Examining the Asian Growth Story

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Asian international affairs
  • Asian political economy
  • Chinese and Indian security and foreign policies
  • War and peace in world politics


  • “The Evolution of the India-Pakistan Rivalry,” chapter in Sumit Ganguly and Frank O’Donnell ed. The Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia (New York, NY: Routledge, 2022) 
  • Book: The Reputational Imperative: Nehru’s India in Territorial Conflict (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018)
  • “Territory and the Sino-Indian Competition,” chapter in T.V. Paul ed. Rethinking Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Globalization Era (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2018) 
  • Nehru's Legacy in Kashmir: Why a Plebiscite Never Happened,” India Review, vol. 15, no. 1, 2016, 1-21.
  • Nuclear Doctrines and Stable Strategic Relationships: The Case of South Asia,” International Affairs, vol. 92, no. 1, 2016, 1-20. (with T.V. Paul).
  • “Showing Character: Reputation and the Sino-India Dispute, 1957-1962,” Asian Security, vol. 11 (2), Summer 2015, 99-115.
  • “India and the US ‘pivot’ to Asia: Convergence without change,” in William Tow and Douglas Stuart eds. The New US Strategy Towards Asia: Adapting to the American Pivot (London: Routledge, 2015), 184-200.
  • “Status Accommodation through Institutional Means: India’s Rise and the Global Order,” in T.V. Paul, Deborah Larson, and William C. Wohlforth, eds., Status in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 165-191. (with T.V. Paul).
  • “Foreign Policy Making in India: Looking for Theoretical Explanations,” in Amitabh Mattoo and Happymon Jacob, eds., Shaping India's Foreign Policy: People, Politics and Places (New Delhi: Har Anand Publishers, 2010), 46-77. (with T.V. Paul).
  •  “Why the US-India Nuclear Accord is a Good Deal,” Survival 49 (4), 111-22. (with T.V. Paul).