Pratap Bhanu Mehta is an eminent Indian academic, and an internationally recognised scholar of the political and social sciences. He is President of The Center for Policy Research, New Delhi, one of India’s most distinguished think tanks, and a member of the Indian National Security Advisory Board. He was previously Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University; Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard University, Professor of Philosophy and of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Visiting Professor at NYU Law School and University of Pennsylvania Law School.
He was also previously Member-Convenor of the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission, and Member of the Supreme Court appointed committee on elections in Indian Universities. He has authored a number of papers and reports for leading Government of India and International Agencies, including the World Bank, UNRISD and DFID. He was on the Board of Governors of IDRC; was Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Global Governance, and also served on the Board of NIPFP, NCAER and NIID.
Mehta is the recipient of the Malcom S. Adishehshiah Award for distinguished contribution to the Social Sciences in 2010, the prestigious Infosys Prize in 2011 for contributions to Political Science, and the Amartya Sen Award for Social Science in 2013. The Jury for the Infosys Prize, chaired by Amartya Sen gave him the following citation: "Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta has established himself as one of India’s finest scholars and public minds, who has inspired a new generation of intellectual enquiry..."
Today Mehta is on the Board of Governors of International Development Research Council (IDRC), and numerous other academic institutions, including The National Institute of Finance and Public Policy. He is also a member of the WEF's Global Governance Council.
He is a prolific participant in public policy debates and has been named as amongst India’s leading opinion makers by several publications. He serves on the Editorial Board of journals including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Democracy and India and Global Affairs. He has published dozens of scholarly papers in important journals and edited volumes. His early work was on eighteenth century thought, particularly on Adam Smith and the Making of the Enlightenment. He has also written on issues of Cosmopolitanism, Liberalism, Rights, Judicial Review, International Governance and Democratic Theory. His recent publications include, ‘The Burden of Democracy’ (2003) and an edited volume ‘India’s Public Institutions’ (2005). He is also a member of the group that produced ‘Non-Alignment 2.O’ (2013) and is co editor of ‘Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order’ (2013). He is also co editor of the 'Oxford Companion to Politics in India' (2010).
He is an Editorial Consultant to the Indian Express, and has written columns for national and international dailies, including the Hindu and The Financial Times. His columns display an interest in empirical rigour.
Mehta has a B.A. First Class in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University (St. John's College); and a Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University.