Adjunct Professor Ian Copland

Adjunct Professor Ian Copland


Ian was born in Perth and educated at the University of Western Australia and Balliol College, Oxford. He researches on modern India and Pakistan, Indian religious history and comparative colonialism.

His earlier work focussed on the politics of the Indian princely states and their relations with the British Raj; more recently he has investigated Hindu-Muslim communal relations in the princely and colonial contexts and the role of religion in facilitating and complicating the business of governance.

Between 2001 and 2010 he edited the journal South Asia. He is a foundation member of the South Asian Studies Association, and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


Ian is currently researching the policies and practices of India’s Congress Party during the first three decades of Independence


Major Publications

  • The British Raj and the Indian Princes: Paramountcy in Western India, 1857-1930 (Bombay: Orient Longman, 1982)
  • The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917-1947 (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • State, Community and Neighbourhood in Princely North India, c. 1900-1950(Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
  • (With Ian Mabbett, Asim Roy, Kate Brittlebank and Adam Bowles)
    A History of State and Religion in India (Abingdon/New York: Routledge, 2012)

Recent Book Chapters

  • The Imprint of the Past: Reflections on Regime Change with particular Reference to “Middle India”, c.1947-50’, in From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp.287-306
  • ‘From Communitas to Communalism: Evolving Muslim Loyalties in Princely North India’, in Colonialism, Modernity and Reform Movements in South Asia (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp.23-50

Recent Refereed Journal Articles

  • ‘The Master and the Maharajas: The Sikh Princes and the East Punjab Massacres of 1947’, in Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3 (2002), pp. 657-704
  • ‘Christianity as an Arm of Empire: the Ambiguous case of India under the Company, c.1813-1858’, in The Historical Journal, Vol.49, No.4 (2006), pp.1025-54
  • ‘The Limits of Hegemony: Elite Reponses to Nineteenth-Century Imperial and Missionary Acculturation Strategies in India’, in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol.49, No.2 (2007), pp.637-65
  • ‘What’s in a Name? India’s Tryst with Secularism’, in Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol.48, no.2 (2010), pp.123-47
  • ‘The Production and Containment of Communal Violence: Scenarios from Modern India’, in South Asia, new series, Vol.33, no.1 (2010), pp.122-50