Dr Swati Parashar

Dr Swati Parashar


Swati has previously held full time academic appointments at the School of History and Politics, University of Wollongong in Australia and at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick in Ireland.

Before her academic career took off in 2006, Swati worked in public policy think tanks as Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore and as an Associate Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, where she coordinated the International Terrorism Watch Programme. She was a Fulbright Fellow on a national security programme at the Institute of Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California, San Diego, US, in Jan-Feb 2006.

Swati is interested in understanding and theorising the nature of political violence and wars in South Asia, particularly women as perpetrators and survivors of violence. Her interest in political violence is based on experiences of growing up in an India in the last two decades when state and non-state violence have been on the rise while political spaces have been marked by intense contestations among various actors.

Her ongoing projects include a critical assessment of the Maoist insurgency in India and the ‘securitisation’ of development. She is also working on the politics of ‘difference’ and ‘location’ in feminist IR and post colonial approaches. 

She is a prolific social and political commentator on South Asia, terrorism and gender and has contributed to print and electronic media in Australia and India. She has published articles in the Asia Times; Straits Times, Singapore; Daily Mirror, Colombo; Sri Lanka Guardian; ABC Drum Opinion; South Asia Analysis Group; E-IR Journal and on various blogs and websites.

She loves listening to Indian classical music and Urdu ghazals. She is a devoted cricket fan who relishes the 5 day test format of the game, particularly the Ashes series. She is happy to be in Australia, where they love cricket and AFL.

Swati welcomes PhD applicants in the following areas of her expertise and interest:

  • Feminist international relations
  • Gender and political violence
  • Women militants and combatants
  • Terrorism and counter terrorism
  • Critical security and war studies
  • Conflict, security and development in South Asia
  • Cricket and international relations


  • PhD in Politics and International Relations – Lancaster University, United Kingdom
  • Master of Arts in International Relations – School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India 
  • Bachelor of Arts in History (Honours) – Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, India



  1. Editor, Maritime Counter Terrorism : A Pan Asian Perspective, Pearson Longman, Delhi, 2007 (pages 218)
  2. Co-editor (with Wilson John) Terrorism in South East Asia-Implications for South Asia, Pearson Education, Delhi, 2005 (pages 269)

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. “Feminist IR and Women Militants: Case Studies from South Asia” in Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 2009, Vol.22 (2),pp 235 – 256.
  2.  “Gender, Jihad, and Jingoism: Women as Perpetrators, Planners, and Patrons of Militancy in Kashmir” (2011) Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 34: 4, 295 — 317
  3. “Embodied ‘Otherness’ and Negotiations of Difference: A Critical Self Reflection on the Politics of Emotions in Researching Militant Women” in International Studies Review, 13: 4, 2011 (687-708)
  4. “The Sacred and the Sacrilegious: Exploring women’s ‘politics’ and ‘agency’ in radical religious movements in South Asia” (2010) Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 11: 3, 435 — 455
  5.  “Feminist (in)security studies: The ‘gatekeeping’ approach”, forum essay accepted for publication inInternational Studies Perspective (forthcoming 2013)
  6. “What Wars and ‘War Bodies’ know about International Relations”, article under review withCambridge Review of International Affairs, special issue on Critical War Studies. (2013)

Book Chapters

  1. “(En)Gendered Terror: Feminist Approaches to Political Violence” in The Sage Handbook of Feminist Theory edited by Mary Evans, Clare Hemmings, Marsha Henry, Sumi Madhok, Ania Plomien, and Sadie Wearing (forthcoming 2013)
  2.  “Armed resistance, economic (in)security and the household: A case study of the Maoist insurgency in India”  in The Global Political Economy of the Household edited by Juanita Elias and Samanthi Gunawardana, Palgrave (forthcoming 2013)
  3. “Besieged Childhood and Broken Dreams: The Failed Promises of the Maoist Movement in India” inChildren’s Rights, Development and Security in South Asiaedited by, Bina D’Costa and Laxmi Murthy, Oxford South Asia Series (forthcoming 2013)
  4. With Christine Sylvester, “The Contemporary Mahabharata and the Many Draupadis: Bringing Gender to Critical Terrorism Studies,” in Critical Terrorism Studies, edited by Richard Jackson and Marie Breen Smyth, Routledge, 2009, pp 178-193
  5.  “The Good, Bad or the Ugly? Women militants in religio-political and secular nationalist movements,”Gender and International Security: Feminist perspectives edited by Laura Sjoberg, Routledge, 2009 pp 168-188
  6. “Women Militants as Gendered Political Subjects” in Annika Kronsell and Erika Svedberg edited,Making Gender, Making War, Routledge, 2011, pp 299-325
  7. “Aatish-e-Chinar: In Kashmir where women keep the resistance alive” in Women and 21st Century Terrorism (eds.), Laura Sjoberg and Caron Gentry, Georgia University Press, US, 2011
  8. “The United States and South Asia: From Tactical Security Relationship Towards a Strategic Partnership,” in My USA : Views on American National Security and Foreign Policy, edited by Mirelle Radoi, Tritonic Publishing Group, Bucharest, 2007, pp 39-60
  9. “The New Age Hydra: India’s Experiences with Terrorism and Counter Terrorism,” in The Fight Against Terrorism: Global Challenge of the 21st Century, edited by Vera Rihackova, Europeum Institute of Foreign Policy, Prague, 2007, pp 55-63
  10. “Between God and Nation: Women’s Agency in the Kashmir Conflict” in Women and Conflict: Presences and Absences, published by the Women and Armed Conflicts Observatory, Nov 2007, Santiago de Compostela
  11. “Hizb-ut-Tahrir” in Terrorism in South East Asia-Implications for South Asia, edited by Wilson John and Swati Parashar, Pearson Education, Delhi, 2005 pp 96-104

Book Reviews

  1. Book Review of “Feminism and International Relations: Conversations about the Past, Present and Future” Edited by J. Ann Tickner, Laura Sjoberg in the Journal of Women and Public Policy(forthcoming 2013)
  2. Book Review of “Gender Matters in Global Politics” by Laura Shepherd, in the journal Gender and Development (Nov. 2010)
  3. Book Review of “Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity and the Rise and Fall of the A. Q. Khan Network” by Gordon Corera, published in the Journal Roundtable,(April 2008)
  4. Book Review ofFrom Where We Stand” by Cynthia Cockburn, published in Feminist Theory, (August 2009)
  5. Book Review of “Low Intensity Conflicts in India: An Analysis” by Lt Col Vivek Chadha published as “ The Siege Within” at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies website. Accessed at http://www.ipcs.org/newDisplayReview.jsp?kValue=87

Recent Opinion Pieces/ Commentaries/ Reports

  1. Jacqui True, Nicola George, Sara Niner and Swati Parashar. 2013. Women’s political participation in Asia-Pacific. Report for United Nations Department of Political Affairs.  New York: Social Science Research Council Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum.
  2. “Violence Against Women: India’s Winding Road Ahead” in Asian Currents (Feb. 2013)http://asaa.asn.au/publications/ac/2013/asian-currents-13-02.pdf (pages 19-20)
  3. “The Delhi Rape Case: Rethinking Feminism and Violence Against Women” in E-IR Journal (Feb. 2013) http://www.e-ir.info/2013/02/11/the-delhi-rape-case-rethinking-feminism-and-violence-against-women/
  4. “The Silent Feminism” in Gender and Global Governance Net-work (Dec. 2012)http://genderinglobalgovernancenet-work.net/comment/the-silent-feminism/ Also published by the ABC Drum Opinion  http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4444810.html
  5. “Why Amanat Must Live!” in Gender and Global Governance Net-work (Jan. 2013)
  6. http://genderinglobalgovernancenet-work.net/comment/why-amanat-must-live/
  7. “Violence, Migrant Women and the Ostrich Approach” in Asian Currents (Dec. 2012)
  8. http://asaa.asn.au/publications/ac/2012/asian-currents-12-12.pdf (page 17-19)
  9. “Ajmal Kasab’s Execution: Why there is no reason to celebrate” in South Asia Analysis (Nov. 2012)http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1068
  10. “Women’s bodies and (en)gendered political violence” on The GRIT@Prajnya Blog (The Official Blog of the Gender Violence Research and Information Taskforce at Prajnya Initiatives) (Nov. 2012)http://gritprajnya.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/16-days-campaign-theme-series/