Archives of Contemporary India

Supported by HDFC LTD.

Achin Vanaik Papers

Achin Vanaik Papers

A renowned political scientist, academic and writer, Achin Vanaik (b.1947) is a well-known scholar and commentator on issues related to global politics and international relations.

Vanaik graduated in economics and statistics from the University of Bristol, England in 1970. Subsequently, he became actively involved (1971-1974) with the ‘Free University of Black Studies’ for promoting political awareness of non-white immigrant communities in Britain.

In November 1978, Vanaik began his career as an Assistant Editor with the Times of India and worked with the paper till December 1990. Known for brevity in his writings, he wrote extensively as a critic of nuclear weapons and advocated disarmament. His articles have been widely acclaimed for pioneering insights into issues like national security, international relations, peace and politics in South Asia.

In 1996, Vanaik entered academia as a Visiting Professor at the Academy of the Third World Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi (1996-1997 and 2001-2003). In 2002, he joined the University of Delhi and held various positions in the Department of Political Science, Visiting Professor (2002-2004), Professor (2004), and Head of the Department (2007-2010). He was also Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi, 2007-2010.

Vanaik is a Fellow (1988-present) of the Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam, Netherlands, an international body of intellectuals & scholars concerned about problems of global inequality and development. He was a Research Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, 1991-1996.

Vanaik was an active member of various organizations/committees, such as: The Ghosh Committee, Expert Group set up by the Government of India to independently evaluate the country's National Literacy Mission (1993); Executive Board of Greenpeace, India (1999-2003 and 2008-2014); Advisory Board of the journal Adhikar brought out by the Indian branch of the Amnesty International (2008); and International Editorial Committee of the European Journal of International Relations (2013-2020).

An exceptional writer and editor, Achin Vanaik has also been on the Editorial Board of the journal, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (formerly South Asia Bulletin) brought out from Duke University, South Carolina, USA. In 2009, he was invited by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) to be the General Series Editor for its planned ‘ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations’ in the discipline of political science.

He has authored several books on global politics, including The Painful Transition: Bourgeois Democracy in India (1990), India in a Changing World: Problems, Limits and Successes of its Foreign Policy (1995), The Furies of Indian Communalism: Religion, Modernity and Secularization (1997), After the Bomb: Reflections on India’s Nuclear Journey (2015), and Understanding Contemporary India: Critical Perspectives (ed.) (2010).

In the year 2000, Vanaik was awarded ‘The Sean MacBride International Peace Prize’ (along with Praful Bidwai) for published work and activities concerning nuclear disarmament.

About the Collection: The collection donated by Achin Vanaik to the Archives of Contemporary India comprises writings by him on seminal national and international issues, survey reports, correspondence with his contemporaries, and printed material on nuclear weapons and security, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Indo-US nuclear deal, Nepal, West Asia and South America. The collection also includes Times of India press clippings (from 1978 onwards), issues of magazines by Greenpeace, and Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP). The papers are of immense value to scholars interested in international relations, national security, foreign policy, nuclear weapons and global politics.

Donor: Achin Vanaik
Acquisition: 2022