Jayant Lele

Jayant Lele

Professor Emeritus


Political Studies

Arts and Science


Dr. Jayant Lele is Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Political Studies, Sociology, and Global Development Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. He has taught courses on Critical Social Theory, Comparative Politics of Developing Societies, and political sociology. After post-graduate education from Poona University, he was awarded a doctoral studies fellowship by the Ford Foundation and a research fellowship by the American Institute of Indian Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University. He has served as the Head of the Sociology Department, and as the Coordinator and Chair of the program for Study in National and International Development. He was also the founder coordinator of the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen's University. He was Visiting Professor at the Centre for International Studies, Cornell University, and at the department of Politics of Poona University and has been a Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He served as the President of the Canadian Association of South Asian Studies and as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Asian Studies Association of Canada. He was the Resident Director of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute in New Delhi from 1981-82 and was its President between 1996 and 1998. He received senior faculty fellowships of the Institute in 1981-82 for the study of the social history of Maharashtra and in 1988-89 for the study of language and Society in South Asia. Professor Lele was the Convener of the Evaluation Programme of the International Centre for the Advancement of Community-based Rehabilitation - ICACBR - (a CIDA Centre of Excellence at Queen’s University) and served as a member of its Board of Directors, on its Taskforce on Sustainability, and its representative on the Disability Subcommittee of the United Nations Regional Interorganizational Committee for the Asia Pacific (RICAP).

Professor Lele’s recent research includes work on colonial and post-colonial analyses of image-worship in India and changes in the political economy of districts of Maharashtra. Professor Lele's research interests include studies of rural and national politics in India and of party politics in Canada, evaluation of public policy processes and community-based programs, critical reinterpretation of the modernity of tradition as well as the political economy of India, Southeast Asia, and Canada. He is the author, co-author, or editor of a number of articles and books including, Tradition and Modernity in Bhakti Movements, Elite Pluralism and Class Rule, Language and Society, State, and Society in India, Explorations in Indian Sociolinguistics, Hindutva: The Emergence of the Right, Unravelling the Asian Miracle, Asia: Who Pays for Growth?, Globalization and civil society in Asia (Palgrave 2004) and Democratic Transitions and Social Movements in Asia(Palgrave 2004), Some Landmarks in the History of Ideas (U). The Landmarks volume was translated into Marathi and published by Unique Academy in 2013.