U-M professor chosen as a Carnegie Scholar

Ashutosh Varshney, a political science professor at LSA, has been named a 2008 Carnegie Scholar for his research about peace, conflict and Muslim communities.
(Photo courtesy Ashutosh Varshney)

The Carnegie Corp. of New York attempts to build thoughtful and original scholarship that encourages the development and expansion of the study of Islam in the United States.

Varshney is one of 20 individuals chosen this year for the two-year scholarship. The 2008 awardees are the fourth consecutive annual class to focus on Islam, bringing to 91 the number of Carnegie Scholars devoted to the topic since the program began in 2000.

"Professor Varshney's work on ethno communal violence in Islamic communities in four countries will help policy makers, scholars and citizens to understand these important phenomenons," says Terrence McDonald, dean of LSA. "His models are novel, refreshing and hopeful."

Varshney says the argument that Islam preaches violence has become a master narrative in the West, yet the data shows that most Muslims continue to live peacefully with other communities. His multi-country study, built around 15 cities, explores why violence marks the relationship of Muslims with non-Muslims in some cities, but not in others.

"The Carnegie Corporation of New York is among the leading Western institutions promoting research on Islam and Muslims," Varshney says. "I am glad to have their recognition that my book will deepen the understanding of Muslim communities in different parts of the world."

Varshney has been a U-M faculty member since 2001. His research and teaching cover three areas: ethnicity and nationalism; political economy of development; and South Asian politics and political economy.