Dr Zaad Mahmood

Departmental Lecturer in South Asian Development and Politics

Dr Mahmood’s research focuses on political economy of reforms, issues of public policy, labour issues, elections and politics in India.

His book, Globalisation and Labour reforms: the politics of interest groups and partisan governments looks at the political variables responsible for policy divergences under conditions of globalisation. Based on comparative study of four sub-national states of India, the book highlights the role of partisan support bases in shaping reform preferences of governments.

His recent work has been on the sub-national variation in labour reforms in India, state behaviour under conditions of globalization and judicial intervention in labour issues in West Bengal, India.

Dr Mahmood is part of the sub-national India Electoral Integrity project that is evaluating the quality of elections as part of the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity research theme. He was a Senior Visiting Fellow, Electoral Integrity Project, at the University of Sydney in 2015.

Dr Mahmood is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Presidency University where he is on leave for the year 2017-18. He has also taught at S.A.Jaipuria College, University of Calcutta.

He is a regular political commentator and panellist on political events in the regional and national news media, both in print and visual like CatchNews, ABP-Ananda, 24 Ghanta and national channels like Times NOW.

In the media
Electoral integrity: sub-national India
Trade unions and collective bargaining in urban labour markets: the case of West Bengal

At ODID, Dr Mahmood is teaching on the MPhil in Development Studies Foundation Course on History and Politics and on the Core Course on Development and Modernization.

At Presidency University, he teaches India: Indian Politics (movements and processes), Research Methods and Political Economy.

Research Students supervised

Books and monographs

Mahmood, Zaad (with Achin Chakraborty, Subhanil Chowdhury, Supurna Banerjee) (2019) 'Limits of Bargaining: Capital, Labour and the State in Contemporary India', Cambridge University Press
Mahmood, Zaad (2017) 'Globalization and Labour Reforms: The Politics of Interest Groups and Partisan Governments', New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press

Journal articles and special issues

Mahmood, Zaad (with Supurna Banerjee) (2017) 'Judicial intervention and industrial relations: exploring industrial disputes cases in West Bengal', Industrial Law Journal 46 (3) 366–96
Mahmood, Zaad (with Lawrence Saez) (2016) 'Business and labor market flexibility in India: The importance of caste', Business and Politics 18 (2) 171-98
Mahmood, Zaad (2016) 'Trade Unions, Politics & Reform in India', Indian Journal of Industrial Relations 51 (3) 531-49
Mahmood, Zaad (2015) 'Contradictions, Negotiations and Reform: The Story of Left Policy Transition in West Bengal', Journal of South Asian Development 10 (2) 199-229


Mahmood, Zaad (2016) 'Politics of Labour Market: relocating the role of partisan politics in labour reform'. In KR Shyam Sundar (ed) Dynamics of Globalization and Industrial Relations in India , New Delhi: Daanish Publishers
Mahmood, Zaad (2015) 'The essence of power: Connotations of a contested concept'. In P Basu (ed) Political Sociology , Kolkata: Setu Publishers

Other publications

Mahmood, Zaad (2015) 'Governance after poriborton: News, Views and Perceptions', Papers on Democratic Governance, UGC-DRS (Phase II) programme Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta
18 June, 2019
ODID academics to present at 2019 DSA conference
26 April, 2019
New book co-authored by Zaad Mahmood offers new insight into collective bargaining in India
02 Jan, 2017
The performance of Indian states in electoral integrity. Zaad Mahmood writes for the Electoral Integrity Project blog
07 Sep, 2015
'How India undermined its elections: why was the world’s largest democracy outperformed by one of the smallest?'. Zaad Mahmood writes for the Electoral Integrity Project blog
Research interests:

Indian politics; public policy: labour reforms, health policy; labour politics and industrial relations; comparative politics: sub-national comparison; elections  in India