Ornit Shani is an Associate Professor of Modern Indian History, Department of Asian Studies, University of Haifa, and an Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge. She is the author of How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise (Cambridge University Press, 2018; and Penguin Random House India, 2018). The book won the Kamaladevi Chattophadyay New India Foundation Prize for the best book on modern India for 2019. It has been reviewed in academic journals, newspapers and magazines, and featured among others on the BBC, in The Economist, and on a selection of podcasts. Her previous book is Communalism, Caste, and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Her publications cover identity and caste politics, the rise of Hindu nationalism, Indian citizenship, democracy and the history of elections.
Between 2014-2018 Ornit Shani held a grant from the Israel Science Foundation in support of her research on a history of India’s first elections. In 2020, Ornit Shani was a Visiting Researcher at the Institute For Future Studies (IFFS), Stockholm. Previously she held positions of a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for History and Economics, University of Cambridge (2014-2016); Overseas Visiting Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge (2014-2015); Visiting Researcher at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi (2010); Visiting Professor, Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi (2007); and a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2005-2006). Ornit Shani received her PhD from the University of Cambridge. She was a Research Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge University.