Prerna Singh will spend the year working on a book manuscript that explores why places with similar epidemiological, socioeconomic conditions, and access to biomedical technology have experienced very different levels of success in the control of infectious diseases. Focusing on the critical role of popular compliance with public health initiatives, the book explores the conditions under which such societal cooperation with state directives is more or less forthcoming. Drawing on comparative historical analyses of outbreaks of the same contagious disease across subnational units in, and the national units of China and India from the nineteenth century onwards, the book delineates a key role for the institutional and ideational embeddedness of public health campaigns.
Singh will also continue her ongoing research on how nationalism interacts with ethnic diversity, and state capacity, to influence political, economic and social freedoms.
Singh is Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. She is a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and she sits on the advisory committee of the Harvard Yenching Institute and is the president of the comparative politics section of the American Political Science Association. She has studied at Princeton, Cambridge and Delhi Universities, and taught previously at Harvard University. Her first book, How Solidarity Works for Welfare (Cambridge University Press, 2016) was awarded best book prizes from both the American Political Science Association and the American Sociological Association.