Mr. Geoffrey Macdonald
Specialization: Political Science
Home institution in US: University of Denver, Colorado
Host Institution in India: Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: October 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Mr. Geoffrey Macdonald is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His dissertation research focuses on the development of political parties in deeply divided societies. He has held research positions at the Centre for Social Research at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia. His research has been honored by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Case Studies in Peacebuilding Competition and published in The Indonesian Quarterly. In the past, Geoffrey has completed research internships at Harvard University, Massachusetts and the National Defense University, Washington, D.C. He also earned his M.A. in international security from the University of Denver and a B.A. in international relations from Boston University, Massachusetts.

Mr. Macdonald’s Fulbright research project, “Political Parties in Divided Societies: India and the Congress Party,” studies the conditions under which multiethnic political parties form in deeply divided societies. Despite the manifold ethnic and religious divisions in India, the Congress Party has been able to build and maintain a multiethnic electoral constituency. This research is part of a broader project that compares political party development in India with South Africa and Indonesia, similarly divided societies that experience varying levels ethnic appeals in their party politics. This comparative research hopes to elucidate the historical and institutional conditions that lead to successful multiethnic political parties in divided societies.