College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Dr. Bidisha Biswas


M.A., Ph.D., Political Science, University of Maryland
B.A., Hindu College, Delhi University

(360) 650-6596

AH 411

Email to set up meeting

Current Courses

PLSC 271, Introduction to International Relations (Spring 2020, Summer 2020)

PLSC 315, Why We Fight (Winter 2020)

PLSC 376, American Foreign Policy (Spring 2020)

PLSC 434, Senior Seminar in International Relations (Winter 2020)

About Dr. Biswas

Professor Biswas earned her BA from the University of New Delhi and received her PhD from the Department of Government and Politics at University of Maryland, College Park.  Dr. Biswas joined the Department of Political Science at Western Washington University in 2006.

Dr. Biswas grew up in several different countries and speaks English, Hindi, Bengali, French and a little Spanish.  Her research interests include International Relations, Ethnic and Civic Conflicts, Terrorism, and Diaspora Politics.  She has previously worked with Women in International Security, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (South Asia Division) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  She is the author of numerous publications and has presented at many national and international conferences.  In 2012-2013, Professor Biswas served as a policy advisor on South Asia to the United States Department of State.

At Western, Professor Biswas teaches courses on International Relations, Transnational Terrorism, Democratization, American Foreign Policy, International Intervention in Civil Wars, Conflict Processes & Conflict Resolution, and the Politics of South Asia.  She also serves as the faculty advisor for the Political Science department’s Honors program.  Qualified students are encouraged to contact her for more information about program qualifications and requirements. In her teaching, Dr. Biswas is passionate about applying theoretical rigor to policy questions.  She 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. 


Faculty Research Interests

International Security, Conflict, Refugee Governance Mechanims

Selected Publications


Radicalizing Female Empowerment: Gender, Agency, and Affective Appeals in Islamic State Propaganda”. 2019. Small Wars & Insurgencies30(6-7): 1193-1213. DOI:

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

“What Can I Do with This Class? Building Employment-Related Skills in International Relations Courses” (with Virginia Haufler).2018. Journal of Political Science Education, DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2018.1515634.

“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: pp.42-59.

Just Say No: Explaining the Lack of International Mediation in Kashmir.” 2017.  International Negotiation 22(3): 499-520.

“Finding Agency in the Margins: Lessons from Teaching as Immigrant Women of Color.” (Co-authored with Shirin Deylami). PS: Political Science and Politics 50(4): 1011-1014. 

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 48(1): 157-161.

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

“Tracking the War of Ideas: A Poll of Ottawa Muslims,” (co-authored with Clark McCauley, Christian Leuprecht, Todd Hataley, Conrad Winn). 2011. Terrorism and Political Violence 23(5): 804-819.

“Negotiating the Nation: Diaspora Contestations about Hindu Nationalism in India.” 2010. Nations and Nationalism 16(4): 696-714.

“Just Between Friends: Bilateral Cooperation and Bounded Sovereignty in the ‘Global War on Terror’.” 2009. Politics and Policy 37(5): 929-950.

“Can’t We Just Talk? Reputational Concerns and International Intervention in Sri Lanka and Indonesia (Aceh).” 2009. International Negotiation 14(1): 121-147

“The Challenges of Conflict Management: A Case Study of Sri Lanka.” 2006. Civil Wars 8(1): 46-65. 

“Mediation Style and Crisis Outcomes:  A Cross-National Analysis, 1918-2001” (with Kyle Beardsley, David Quinn and Jonathan Wilkenfeld). 2006. Journal of Conflict Resolution 50(1): 58-86.

“Nationalism by Proxy: A Comparison of Sikh and Hindu Diaspora Nationalism.” 2004. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 10(2): 269-295.



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

What Comes after US Hegemony?” (with Anish Goel). 2018. The Diplomat, December 19.

"This Is Why Indian Immigrants Won’t Benefit from Trump’s Immigration Plan" (co-authored with Ramya M. Vijaya). March 1, 2018. Washington Post.

Immigrants, Diversity and Responding to Hate Crimes. 2017. The Aerogramme

“In Kashmir, They Disappear: Civilians, Militants, and Democracy.” (co-authored with Anish Goel).  2014, November 7. Foreign Policy: The South Asia Channel.

“New Directions in India’s Foreign Policy.” 2012. India Review 11(2): 132-138.

“The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka: Terrorism, Ethnicity, Political Economy,” by Asoka Bandarange. 2010. Civil Wars 12(1): 176. [Book review]

 "The Global War on Terror: What is it We're Fighting?" July 23, 2008. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“Canada-US Information Sharing and the Case of Maher Arar.” 2007. Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University.

“Scarcity and Surfeit: The Ecology of Africa’s Conflicts,” by Jeremy Lind and Kathryn Sturman (Eds). 2005.  Environmental Change and Security Program 11: 104-106. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. [Book review]

“The Marketing of Rebellion," by Clifford Bob. 2005. International Studies Review 7(4): 657-658. [Book review]

“Continuing Crisis in Nepal.” December 2003. South Asia Monitor, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Sri Lanka: Continuing Negotiations by Other Means.” November 2003. South Asia Monitor, Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Research Interests

  • Diaspora Politics
  • Ethnic and Civic Conflicts
  • International Relations
  • Terrorism

PDF icon Curriculum Vitae (84.38 KB)