May 23, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Uday S. Mehta, a professor of political science at Amherst College, will receive one of 11 fellowships from the Carnegie Corporation of New York this year. Each Carnegie scholar, chosen in a highly competitive process, will receive up to $100,000, for one to two years to pursue subjects advancing the strategic work of the corporation.

Mehta, a political theorist who has taught at Amherst since 2000, has a B.A. from Swarthmore College and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University. The author of Liberalism and Empire (1999) and The Anxiety of Freedom (1992), he will research “Constitutional Configurations of the Past: A Comparative Study of India, Israel, South Africa, and the U.S.” on his Carnegie Fellowship.

Mehta asks how constitutions configure the relationship between the past of a country and its imagined future, focusing on the constitutional orientations, the democratic opportunities and the public policies regarding minority groups in India, Israel, South Africa and the United States. Having completed most of his study of minorities in the U.S., Mehta will conduct case studies of minorities in India, South Africa and Israel as they struggle for political and social recognition. His project will provide insights into the question of constitutional design as it concerns equality and recognition in contemporary politics.

“We want to encourage and support original and creative scholars working on a wide array of social issues who are linked together by their individual commitments to discovering and advancing knowledge and to improving society,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Gregorian inaugurated the Scholars Program in 1999 to renew and invigorate the Corporation’s commitment to encourage innovative individuals who are engaged in promising scholarship that extends the boundaries of the Corporation’s program areas. “We believe that excellent scholarship is a prerequisite for solid policy research and, ultimately, social change,” Gregorian said.