Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching
Spring 2025
Office Phone
Green Hall, Room 3-S-11

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is the Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University.  He was previously Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University, and President, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi.   He has previously taught at Harvard, Ashoka University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and has been Global Faculty at NYU Law School.  He has published widely in political theory, history of ideas, Indian constitutional law and politics in India. He is the author of The Burden of Democracy (Penguin 2003) and has produced several edited volumes. He is (most recently) co-editor with Madhav Khosla and Sujit Choudhary of The Oxford Handbook to the Indian Constitution.  His forthcoming work looks at philosophical ideas about religion in 20th-century India. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy and SSRC Fellow for 2020. 

His policy experience includes being Convenor of the Prime Minister of India's Knowledge Commission (2005-2007) and member of India’s National Security Advisory Board. He is also an editorial consultant to the Indian Express. He is a prolific contributor to public debates. He has also published in the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and numerous other dailies. He is a winner of the Infosys Prize 2011. His citation for the Infosys Prize, written by a Jury Chaired by Amartya Sen read,   "Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta has established himself as one of India’s finest scholars and public minds, who has inspired a new generation of intellectual enquiry. He has contributed not only to political philosophy and social theory in general but has also addressed urgent issues of Indian politics and public policy. Mehta has shown an exemplary willingness to broaden the sphere of public reason and to challenge reigning orthodoxies, while remaining committed to institution building." Mehta studied PPE at Oxford and has a Ph.D in Politics from Princeton. He was the first cohort of graduate student fellows at the Center for Human Values.