Dr Rasul Bakhsh Rais is Professor of Political Science in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS, Lahore since 2002. He took time off from LUMS and served as Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, (August 2013-December 2015). Before joining LUMS, he served as professor of International Relations and Political Science for 22 years at the Quaid-i-Azam University, including as the Director, Area Study Centre for more than a decade.

Dr Rais has Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of Imagining Pakistan: Modernism, State and the Politics of Islamic Revival (Lexington Books, 2017), Islam, Ethnicity and Power Politics: Constructing Pakistan’s National Identity (Oxford University Press 2017), Recovering the Frontier State: War, Ethnicity and State in Afghanistan (Lexington Books, 2008), War Without Winners: Afghanistan’s Uncertain Transition after the Cold War (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1996), Indian Ocean and the Superpowers: Economic, Political and Strategic Perspectives (Croom Helm, 1986), editor of State, Society and Democratic Change in Pakistan (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1997) and with Charles H. Kennedy, Pakistan 1995 (Westview Press, 1996).  

He took Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in International at the University of California Berkeley (1984-85), Hoover Institution Fellowship at Stanford University (Fall 1985), and Social Sciences Research Fellowship at Harvard University (1988-89). He served as Distinguished Quid-i-Azam Professor at Columbia University (1991-94). During this period, he also secured MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He took Fulbright Fellowship at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (1998-99).


The focus of his current research interests is on “Geopolitics of Pakistan’s Western Borderlands”. He writes opinion-page columns for Dunya News and Arab News on political, security and social issues.