Bidisha Biswas

Professor, WWU Faculty Legislative Representative


I earned my BA from the University of Delhi and received my PhD from the Department of Government and Politics at University of Maryland, College Park.  I joined the Department of Political Science at Western Washington University in 2006.

Between 2021 and 2024, I was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (GCR) in Duisburg, Germany, where I investigated refugee governance norms. In Fall 2019, I was a a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. In 2012-2013,  I had the opportunity to serve as a Franklin Fellow policy advisor on South Asia to the United States Department of State. I

My research interests include Global South politics, refugee governance, immigration and diaspora politics, and international security. Much of my research has a policy orientation, and I have previously worked with Women in International Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (South Asia Division) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I have authored numerous publications and have presented at several national and international settings. 

I am also a Reviews Editor for Journal of Refugee Studies

As Western's Faculty Legislative Representative (FLR), I work with colleagues from Washington state's other public, higher-education institutions to advocate for higher education with our state's legislators. 

At Western, I teach courses on international relations, American foreign policy, refugee flows, and conflict processes. My classes focus on applying theoretical rigor to policy questions.  I was featured in the 2016-2017 WWU Innovative Teaching Showcase on Critical Thinking.  Students should expect lots of discussion and debates about current events as well as a strong emphasis on clear and concise writing. 

Research Interests

  • Global South and the International Order, Refugee Flows, Diaspora Politics, International Security, South Asia

Current Courses

Fall 2024

  • PLSC 271 - Intro to International Relations
  • PLSC 434 - Senior Seminar - International Relations - WP3


Selected Publications

For a full list of publications, please contact me at bidisha.biswas(a)


(Re)imagining the Idea of India: Contestations about Hindutva among the Indian American Diaspora. 2023. Nations and Nationalism

"You Can’t Go to War Over Refugees": The Bangladesh War of 1971 and the International Refugee Regime. 2023. Refugee Survey Quarterly.

Hindu Radicalization and Implications for India. 2021. Book chapter for Terrorism, Security and Development in South Asia: National, Regional and Global Implications, edited by Raymond Izarali and Dalbir Ahlawat. New York: Routledge.

International Norms of Asylum and Burden-Sharing: A Case Study of Bangladesh and the Rohingya Refugee Population (with Srobana Bhattacharya). 2021. Journal of Refugee Studies.

Radicalizing Female Empowerment: Gender, Agency, and Affective Appeals in Islamic State Propaganda. 2019. Small Wars & Insurgencies.

Who Protests? An Exploration of the Class Dimensions of Anti-Corruption Mobilization (with Ramya M. Vijaya). 2019. Governance.

What Can I Do with This Class? Building Employment-Related Skills in International Relations Courses (with Virginia Haufler). 2018. Journal of Political Science Education.

From Aruna Shanbaug to Jyoti Singh: A Tale of Policy Change as Told Through Landmark Rape Cases in India. 2017.  In New Feminisms in South Asia: Disrupting the Discourse Through Social Media, Film and Literature, edited by Sonora Jha and Alka Kurian. New York: Routledge.

Just Say No: Explaining the Lack of International Mediation in Kashmir. 2017.  International Negotiation.

Finding Agency in the Margins: Lessons from Teaching as Immigrant Women of Color (co-authored with Shirin Deylami). 2017. PS: Political Science and Politics. 

Indian Immigrant Women and Work. 2016. NY: Routledge. (co-authored with Ramya Vijaya)

"Teaching Theory, Writing Policy: Integrating Lessons from Foggy Bottom into the Classroom.” (co-authored with  Agnieszka Paczynska) 2015. PS: Political Science and Politics.

Managing Conflicts in India: Policies of Coercion and Accommodation. 2014. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.


Creating Change (documentary film, directed by Dina Amin, co-produced by Brian Bowe and Bidisha Biswas). 2023. Winner of Silver Award for faculty video, Festival of Visual and Interactive Media, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)


Time to Renew an Old Promise? A Brief History of Global South Solidarity with Palestine. 2024. The Cairo Review of Global Affairs

Identity, Documents, A ‘Home Over There’: My Father’s Journey as a Partition Refugee. 2023. Scroll.

New Survey Shows Many Indians Preach Respect But Don’t Practice It (with Nikhil Mandalaparthy). 2021. Foreign Policy.

Narendra Modi’s Soft-Power Diplomatic Efforts Abroad Are Being Undone by Hardline Politics at Home (with Anish Goel). 2020. Scroll.

India’s Citizenship Policies Find Parallels in Neighboring Myanmar (with Srobana Bhattacharya). 2020. Political Violence at a Glance.

As Seattle City Council Condemns CAA, US and India's Shared Moral History Continues. 2020. The Wire.

Indian Americans Disillusioned with Hindutva Can Still Give Moral Oxygen to CAA Protesters. 2020. The Print .

Challenging Hegemony, Building Bridges: Pedagogical Tools to Mediate Campus Polarization. 2019.  ASIANetwork Exchange 26(1): 26–32.

"This Is Why Indian Immigrants Won’t Benefit from Trump’s Immigration Plan" (with Ramya M. Vijaya). 2018. Washington Post.

“In Kashmir, They Disappear: Civilians, Militants, and Democracy.” (with Anish Goel).  2014. Foreign Policy: The South Asia Channel.