Associate Professor

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Jinee Lokaneeta received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to USC, she taught Political Science at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, India. Jinee completed her Bachelors, Masters and Mphil in Political Science at Delhi University. Her areas of interest include Law and Violence, Political Theory (Postcolonial, Feminist and Marxist theory), Transnational Law, Jurisprudence, and Cultural Studies. She joined Drew University in 2006. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi from February 10-15th, 2014 and the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley in Fall 2009. She was the Book Review Editor of Law and Society Review from 2013-2016. She is on the Board of Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs.

Research Interests

Jinee’s research focuses on the Debates on Law, Violence, and State Power in Liberal Democracies. Drawing from Political and Legal Theory, Public Law and interdisciplinary literature on violence, in her first book, Transnational Torture, she explored how the jurisprudence of interrogations in contemporary democracies dealt with the infliction of pain and suffering by state officials. She argued that rather than viewing the recent policies on interrogation as anomalous or exceptional, efforts to accommodate excess violence- a constantly negotiated process- are long standing features of both the democracies.

In her second book project, tentatively titled Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India (under contract with the University of Michigan Press), she examines the nature of state power and legal violence in liberal democracies by focusing on the interaction between law, science and policing. She studies the interface of lawyers, police, and forensic psychologists in the use of lie detectors or polygraphs (that record physiological changes in the body while a person is answering questions), brain scanning and Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature (BEOS) test where EEG (ElectroEncephalogram) is used to record whether a person has experiential knowledge of the crime, and narcoanalysis where a drug sodium pentothal is used to seek information.  She discusses whether the existing theoretical frameworks for understanding state power and legal violence are adequate to understand the constant innovations by the state in the use of scientific techniques such as lie detectors, brain scanning and narco analysis. For instance, can existing frameworks explain why, even in the context of untrammeled opportunities for torture, liberal states generate a scientific truth-seeking apparatus, such as lie detectors, brain scanning and narcoanalysis? She traveled to five cities in India and conducted interviews with police officials, forensic psychologists (at the forensic science labs), medical professionals, human rights activists and lawyers on the use of narcoanlysis, brainscanning and lie detectors in the Indian criminal justice system.

She recently completed a project working (with Dr. Amar Jesani) as Research Partner on a Multi-Country study on Torture Prevention initiatives, led by Richard Carver and Association for the Prevention of Torture with a focus on Indian torture prevention initiatives. The study focuses on the effectiveness of torture prevention initiatives in India between 1985-2014 and includes the analysis of reports and cases, supplemented with key interviews with Human Rights Commission members, police, activists and lawyers.The chapter on India (with Amar Jesani) has been published in Does Torture Prevention work? Edited by Richard Carver and Lisa Handley (University of Liverpool Press).

Some of her other projects include: New Modes of Racial Profiling: Post-9/11 surveillance practices on Muslims in the United States; Feminist Theory of Violence; The relationship of Indian civil liberty groups with the law especially the tension between utilizing law as a site of intervention even while being skeptical about its potential; Broader questions of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in legal studies and political theory.

Selected Publications


  • Transnational Torture: Law, Violence, and State Power in the United States and India. New York: New York University Press, 2011;South Asian Edition published by Orient Blackswan, Delhi 2012; NYU Paperback Edition, 2014.

Reviewed in Contributions to Indian Sociology 49.1 (2015); Economic and Political Weekly 48. 47 (2013); Journal of Human Rights 12.4 (2013); Theory and Event 16.2 (2013); Studies in Indian Politics 1 (2013): 123-124; Law,Culture and Humanities 9 (2013) 1; The Book Review 37 (2013) 2-3; Frontline 30 (2013) 4; Biblio: A Review of Books November-December 2012; Social Change 42 (2012) 4; Law and Politics Book Review 22 (2012) 8; Tejas Daily (Malyalam publication) August 2012; Himal South Asian December 6, 2011.

  • Feminist Politics: Struggles and Issues. With Nivedita Menon and Sadhna Arya, eds.Delhi: Hindi Medium Directorate, 2001, a book in Hindi for teaching an undergraduate course on Women and Political Process, Second Edition.

Articles, Chapters, Other Publications

‘Sovereignty, Violence and Resistance in North East India: Mapping Political Theory Today: A commentary on “Bare Sovereignty: Homo Sacer and the Insistence of Law”’ by Peter Fitzpatrick, Theory & Event, Vol. 5, No. 2 (2001), Theory & Event, Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2017, pp. 76-86.

“Torture and Detention in India: Challenges to Prevention” (with Amar Jesani). Does Torture Prevention Work? Edited by Richard Carver and Lisa Handley, (funded by Association for the Prevention of Torture, Geneva) Liverpool University Press, 2016.

“Truth-Telling Techniques: The Aditi Sharma Case and the Implications for Human Rights in India.” The State of Human Rights in Postcolonial India, 1947—2014. Edited by Om Dwivedi and V.G.Julie Rajan. Routledge, 2016.

“Debating the Indian Supreme Court: Equality, Liberty, and the Rule of Law.” Law, Culture and Humanities. first published online August 2015 as doi:10.1177/1743872115596158

“Violence.” The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory Edited by Lisa Disch and Mary Hawkesworth. Oxford University Press, 2016; first published online in April 2015 as doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199328581.013.50

“Creating a Flawed Art of Government: Legal Discourses on Lie Detectors, Brain Scanning, and Narcoanalysis in India.” Law, Culture and Humanities.first published online in November 21, 2014 as doi:10.1177/1743872114559881

“Defining an Absence: Torture “Debate” in India.” Economic and Political Weekly, 49.26-27 (2014).pdf

“Hunger Strikes at Guantánamo: Obama’s Crisis Moment.” Economic and Political Weekly 48.37 (2013).pdf

“Extraordinary Law and Torture in India in an Era of Globalization.” in The Politics of the Globalization of Law: Getting from Rights to Justice.  Edited by Alison Brysk. New York: Routledge, 2013.

“The Legacies of Nuremberg in International Law and American Policy.” in A Companion to Harry S. Truman. Edited by Daniel S. Margolies. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

“Truth Telling Techniques in a regime of terror.” Canada Watch, York University, Winter, 2012.pdf

“A Rose by another Name: Definitions, Sanitized Terms and Imagery of Torture in 24.” Law, Culture and Humanities, 6 (2010) 2, 1-29.pdf

“Torture Debates in the post-9/11 United States: Law, Violence and Governmentality.” Theory and Event, 13 (2010)1.pdf

“Torture in Postcolonial India : Struggle within the Jurisprudence” in  Rights, Citizenship & Torture: Perspectives on Evil, Law and the State. Edited by Welat Zeydanlioglu and John Parry. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2009.

“Hundred Fifty Years of Communist Manifesto: Alexandra Kollontai and Marxist Feminism.” Economic and Political Weekly 36.17 (2001): 1413-1424.

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