Smitana Saikia

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Identity Politics in India, Federalism and State Formation
  • Borderland Studies
  • Conflict and Peace Studies
  • Democracy and Elections


Smitana has completed her Ph.D. from King’s College London. Her doctoral research focused on the longue durée state and identity formation processes in northeast India to understand why certain conflicts reach a resolution while others continue to fester. She has previously taught at FLAME University, Pune and Ashoka University, Sonepat. Her research interests lie in the intersection of political geography, identity politics, federalism and conflict studies.

Publications and Writings

  • Saikia, S (Forthcoming). Indigene, outsider and the citizen: Politics of migration in Assam in ed. volume Migration and Mobility: Citizenship Perspective, Routledge Publications
  • Saikia, S (2020). Saffronizing the periphery: Examining shifting electoral dynamics in Assam in Studies in Indian Politics, Sage, 2020
  • Saikia, S (2019). The right to have rights’: What Assam’s NRC tells us about citizenship and human rights in Scroll​.in, Sept 2nd 2019
  • Saikia, S (2019). The move in Kashmir raises questions about conflict management and Indian federalism in Asia Dialogue, August 16th 2019
  • Saikia, S (2019). BJP managed to nullify regionalism, negate citizenship fears among Bengali Hindus by pitting CAB against NRC in Assam in First Post, May 28th 2019
  • Saikia, S (2019). Citizenship Bill: Submerged in sectarian politics, BJP turns a blind eye to historical complexities of Assamese subnationalism in First Post, Jan 18th 2019
  • Saikia, S (2018). Book Review of Rival claims: ethnic violence and territorial autonomy under Indian Federalism’ published in Regional and Federal Studies, Routledge, 2018
  • Saikia, S (2018). Mizoram elections 2018: Fractured identities and the Church in state politics in Indian Express, Dec 10th 2018
  • Saikia, S (2015).‘Ethnic outbidding and politics of homelands in Assam’s Bodoland’ published in Contemporary South Asia, Routledge, 2015
  • Saikia, S (2015). General Election 2014: Will BJP’s gains polarize Assam further?’ in Studies in Indian Politics, Sage 2015