C.V. | Current Projects | Publications

Research Interests
e-governance, biometric technology, state-citizen interaction, urban citizenship, social justice, journalistic practices, ritual theory and urban Hinduism, India

Research Cooperations & Networks
SFB 1199, Shaping AsiaLOSTKolleg-Forschungsgruppe (KFG) "Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations" (FOR 2779), EEGA, ICAS, New Global Dynamics, IMPRS GM


Ursula Rao is Director of the Department 'Anthropology of Politics and Governance' at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale), Germany. Her research explores questions of politics and governance in India, with a specific focus on urban dynamics. Currently, she is involved in several research projects about the social consequences of biometric technology and e-governance. How do the new tools and techniques of governing impact human relations and state-citizens interactions? Other fields of interests include question of urban citizenship and social justice, as well as journalistic practices, ritual theory and urban Hinduism.

Before joining the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Ursula Rao was Professor of Anthropology at the University of Leipzig and held academic positions at the University of Heidelberg (1999-2002), the University of Halle (2002-2006) and the University of New South Wales, Sydney (2007-2012). She is Adjunct Professor for Social Anthropology at Leipzig University and Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg. She is member of the German Science and Humanities Council (WR) and fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) since 2023. She is the spokesperson of the newly established International Max Planck Research School ‘Global Multiplicity’ (IMPRS)

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