Ornit Shani is a scholar of the politics and modern history of India.

Ornit received her PhD from the University of Cambridge. She was a Research Fellow at St. John’s College, Cambridge University. Her current research focuses on the modern history of democracy and citizenship in India.

Her new book is How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise, Cambridge University Press, 2018 (South Asia edition with Penguin Random House). This book uncovers the greatest experiment in democratic history: the creation of the electoral roll and universal adult franchise in India.

Ornit holds an Israeli Science Foundation (ISF) grant for her sequel project: ‘Embedding Democracy: the Social History of India’s First Elections’. Her other areas of research are the rise of Hindu Nationalism, identity and caste politics, communal and caste violence. She is the author of Communalism, Caste, and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Fields of interest:

Modern South Asia, democracy and democratisation, India’s constitutionalism, India legal history, Indian elections, nationalism, identity politics.