Rudra Sil

Rudra Sil

Professor, Directer of Graduate Studies


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

Rudra Sil is Professor of Political Science and Director of Graduate Studies. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and has been teaching at Penn since 1996. Since 2011, he has also been serving as the SAS Director of the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business. His scholarly interests encompass comparative politics, Russian/post-communist studies, Asian studies, the politics of labor, international development, qualitative methodology, and the philosophy of the social sciences. He is also an elected board member of the Committee on Concepts and Methods of IPSA, the International Political Science Association.  Sil is author, co-author or co-editor of seven books. These include a sole-authored book, Managing ‘Modernity’: Work, Community, and Authority in Late-Industrializing Japan and Russia (University of Michigan Press, 2002), and Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010), coauthored with Peter Katzenstein. The latter title was honored as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title in 2011.  Sil’s coedited anthologies include The Politics of Labor in a Global Age (Oxford University Press, 2001) and  Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applicatons (Oxford University Press, 2018).  He is also author of three dozen articles and book chapters. His articles have appeared in such peer-reviewed journals as Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Post-Soviet Affairs. Sil is currently working on two books, Russia Reconsidered:  Fate of a Former Superpower (under contract, Cambridge University Press) and Pathways of the Post-communist Proletariat: Labor Politics in Russia, China and Eastern Europe.  His most recent paper on labor – coauthored with former Penn Ph.D. student, Allison Evans – was awarded the 2019 Dorothy Day Award for Outstanding Labor Scholarship.

Office Hours
Fall 2022: Tuesdays 2-3 (and by appointment)
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)