Personal profile


Rahul Rao is a Reader in International Political Thought in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. Prior to this, he was Reader in Political Theory at SOAS University of London, where he taught from 2008–21, and Term Fellow in Politics at University College, University of Oxford. He read for a DPhil in International Relations at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and has a BA, LLB (Hons.) from the National Law School of India University. He is a member of the Radical Philosophy editorial collective and used to blog at The Disorder of Things.

Research overview

Rahul Rao has research interests in international relations, postcolonial and queer theory, and the politics of South Asia. Much of his research concerns the global politics of identity – gender, sexuality and, more recently, race and caste. He is the author of two books – Third World Protest: Between Home and the World (2010) and Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality (2020), both published by Oxford University Press. He is currently writing a book on the politics of statues as terrains for the assertion and contestation of racial and caste supremacy. His research has been supported by fellowships awarded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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