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Honors Program

Vidya Nadkarni

Department Chair, Political Science and International Relations
Professor, Political Science

Vidya Nadkarni, PhD, joined USD’s faculty in 1990. Nadkarni teaches courses in the area of international relations and foreign policy. Her research interests center on the foreign policies of resurgent (Russia) and aspiring (China, India) global powers.


Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Political Science

M.A., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; International Studies

B.A. with honors, St. Xavier’s College, University of Bombay; History 

Scholarly and Creative Work

Nadkarni’s research focuses on the foreign policies of emerging powers. She has published numerous book chapters and journal articles and has authored, co-authored, and edited several books. Her book Strategic Partnerships in Asia: Balancing without Alliances (2010) provides an in-depth theoretical and empirical analysis of the complex and contradictory goals pursued by China, India, and Russia in their respective strategic partnerships. She is co-editor of Emerging Powers in a Comparative Perspective: The Political and Economic Rise of the BRIC Countries (2013) and of Challenge and Change: Global Threats and the State in 21st Century International Politics (forthcoming, 2015). She is co-author of The Foreign Policy of Russia: Changing Systems, Enduring Interests (2014). Her current research project delves into the history and trajectory of border conflicts in South Asia.

Teaching Interests

Nadkarni teaches the introductory course in international relations every Fall semester and also offers upper-division and graduate-level courses in international relations theory, American foreign policy, and Russian politics and foreign policy. She has taught courses in USD’s Honors Program and has taught in the preceptorial program for entering freshmen for almost two decades. She takes pride and joy in her role in mentoring students.