Skip directly to content

Biography

AMITAV ACHARYA is Professor of International Relations at the School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC, He also holds the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance since 2011.  He was previously Professor of International Relations at York University in Toronto and Professor of Global Governance at the University of Bristol in the UK. He has also taught at the National University of SIngapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was a Fellow of the Asia Center, Harvard University, and Fellow of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Professor Acharya was elected to the Christensen Fellowship at St Catherine's College in Oxford in 2012 and held the Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship in International Relations at Rhodes University, South Africa for 2012-13.  

He was elected to be the President of the International Studies Association (ISA), the most recognized and influential global network of international studies scholar worldwide, for 2014-15. As the first ISA President from outside the West, he promoted the idea of Global IR, with the goal of injecting more diversity into the study of international relations and making it into a more dynamic and inclusive discipline and overcoming its hitherto neglect of the voices and experiences of the Global South.

His areas of research and writing include Southeast Asian affairs, Asian security, international relations theory, and comparative regionalism. He has published widely on Southeast Asian and Asian regionalism, and the diffusion of ideas and norms in world politics.

Professor Acharya’s publications cover both academic and public affairs topics and number over 25 books and 200 journal and magazine articles. His books on world politics include: The End of American World Order, published by Polity in 2014 and Oxford India in 2015; Rethinking Power, Institutions and Ideas in World Politics, published by Routledge in 2013; and  Non-Western International Relations Theory, co-edited with Barry Buzan and published by Routledge in 2010. 

His main books on Southeast Asia include: The Making of Southeast Asia: International Relations of a Region, published by Cornell University Press and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, in 2012; The Quest for Identity: International Relations of Southeast Asia, published by Oxford University Press in 2000; and Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia, originally published by Routledge in 2001 and whose 3rd edition came out in 2014.  

His 2009 book, Whose Ideas Matter: Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism (Cornell, 2009) was among five books selected by the Asia Society of New York for their “exceptional contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or US-Asia relations” for its Bernard Schwartz Book Award).

His essays have been published in the world’s top academic and policy journals such as International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, World Politics, Foreign Affairs, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Asian Studies. He is the co-chief editor of the Studies in Asian Security series for Stanford University Press, widely regarded as the best book series in the field of Asian security.

A regular commentator in the world’s media, he has appeared on BBC TV, CNN, BBC World Service Radio, Al-Jazeera TV, CNBC TV, CTV (Canada) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio, Radio Australia, Channel News Asia TV, and Thai PBS TV.

On 14th April 2011, at the invitation of its President, he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on the subject of human security.

He has been a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNESCO and a host of national development agencies on issues related to development, security and cooperation. .

Prof Acharya has written numerous op-eds for international newspapers and magazines including Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, National Public Radio (NPR) online, Huffington Post, Australian Financial Review,Asia Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Bangkok Post, Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review, Japan Times, South China Morning Post, YaleGlobal Onlinecovering such topics as international and Asian security, the war on terror, and the rise of China and India.

Prof Acharya was born in India and was educated in both India and Australia. He lived and worked in Singapore for 12 years and is regarded as one of the world’s top specialists on Southeast Asia and Asian affairs. He is a regular visitor to Southeast Asia, China and other East Asian countries. He is married to Ying Dai, who was born in Guangzhou, China. They and their son live in Bethesda, Maryland.