Rudra Sil

Rudra Sil

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies


Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, Room 301

Rudra Sil is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science. He received his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1996 and has been teaching at Penn since that time. In 2022, he was awarded the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Prize for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences. Since 2011, he has also been serving as the SAS Director of the dual-degree Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business. Sil’s scholarly interests encompass comparative politics, Russian/post-communist studies, Asian studies, labor studies, international development, qualitative methodology, and the philosophy of the social sciences. Sil is author, co-author or co-editor of seven books. These include Managing ‘Modernity’: Work, Community, and Authority in Late-Industrializing Japan and Russia (2002), as well as Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics (2010), coauthored with Peter Katzenstein and honored as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.  Sil’s coedited volumes include The Politics of Labor in a Global Age (2001), World Order After Leninism (2007), and  Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applicatons (2018).  He is also author of more than three dozen papers, including articles that have appeared in such peer-reviewed journals as  Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Economy & Society, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Post-Soviet Affairs. The paper published in Comparative Political Studies – coauthored with former Penn Ph.D. student, Dr. Allison Evans – was awarded the 2019 Dorothy Day Award for Outstanding Labor Scholarship.

Office Hours
Spring 2024: Tuesdays 3-5pm (and by appointment/Zoom)
Research Interests
  • Comparative politics - development, labor politics, social movements, institutions & organizations
  • Area expertise: Russian/post-communist studies, Asian studies
  • International relations: general theory, US-Russia relations
  • Qualitative methodology: comparative-historical analysis, interdisciplinarity, philosophy of social science
Courses Taught
  • Evolving Perspectives in Comparative Politics (graduate seminar)
  • Russian Politics (advanced lecture - with graduate credit option) 
  • Political Change in the "3rd World" (undergraduate lecture) 
  • Globalization, Development & the BRICS (freshman seminar)
Selected Publications

Books (selected)

Papers (selected)


CV (file)