Prof. Dr Bidisha Biswas

Senior Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276


Since 09/2016

Western Washington University

Department of Political Science

Professor (2016-Present), Associate Professor (2010-2016), Assistant Professor (2006-2010)

09/2019 - 12/2019

University of Lisbon

Fulbright US Scholar

08/2012 - 07/2013

United States Department of State

Bureau of Demoracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Franklin Fellow

Research Interests

  • Refugee Governance
  • Diaspora Politics
  • US-India Relations

Current Projects

  • The Global Refugee Regime: Contested Norms and Fragmented Cooperation
  • The Many Faces of Diaspora Nationalism: Normative and Aspirational Debates among Indian-Americans


Prof. Dr Bidisha Biswas joined the research group 'Global cooperation and diverse conceptions of world order' in May 2021 and will be a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre until April 2022.

Research Project at the Centre

The Global Refugee Regime: Contested Norms and Fragmented Cooperation

The project will be an investigation, through the prism of refugee situations in South Asia, of how contests over norms affect cooperation on refugee governance. I would like to conduct research on refugee norms in South Asia, with a focus on India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. My primary interest is in understanding how refugees are framed and how that framing shapes policy. In other words, how are refugee identities constructed and deconstructed in each of these countries? To what extent do bilateral relations affect these constructs?  How do discourses in each country affect bilateral and multilateral dialogues? What do refugee discourses, and the polices that are connected to those narratives, tell us about sovereignty, national interest, and international cooperation? By examining how normative framings of refugees collide or intersect with conceptions of national interest, I hope to explain patterns of cooperation (and non-cooperation) in South Asia. This, in turn, will inform our understanding of the ways in which contestations about norms and interests affect global capacity and willingness to work towards addressing the plight of refugees. 


Biswas, Bidisha (2021). 'Hindu Radicalization and Implications for India', in Raymond Izarali and Dalbir Ahlawat (eds), Terrorism, Security and Development in South Asia: National, Regional and Global Implications, New York: Routledge.

Biswas, Bidisha (2020). International Norms of Asylum and Burden-Sharing: A Case Study of Bangladesh and the Rohingya Refugee Crisis (with Srobana Bhattacharya), Journal of Refugee Studies.

Biswas, Bidisha (2019). 'Radicalizing Female Empowerment: Gender, Agency, and Affective Appeals in Islamic State Propaganda' (with Shirin Deylami), Small Wars & Insurgencies 30: 6-7, 1193-1213.

Biswas, Bidisha (2016). Indian Immigrant Women and Work (with Ramya Vijaya). NY: Routledge.

Biswas, Bidisha (2014). Managing Conflicts in India: Policies of Coercion and Accommodation, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Biswas, Bidisha (2010). 'Negotiating the Nation: Diaspora Contestations about Hindu Nationalism in India,' Nations and Nationalism 16: 4, 696–714.

Biswas, Bidisha (2004). 'Nationalism by Proxy: A Comparison of Sikh and Hindu Diaspora Nationalism,' Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 10: 2, 269–295.