Political Science & International Affairs
College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Dr. Bownas has taught a range of course in comparative politics and international relations at Cornell, Swansea University (UK) and at UNC, including ‘Global Issues’ the senior seminar in international relations focusing on ideas of empire, ‘Asian Politics’ and the ‘Politics of Developing States’. Forthcoming classes include ‘War and Peace’ and ‘International Law and Organization’.
Dr. Bownas continues to work with organizations in Nepal committed to the empowerment of lower caste persons, such as the Dignity Initiative based in Kathmandu.
Dr. Bownas' research area is primarily South Asia (Nepal and India). His PhD focused on farmers’ movements and NGOs and the controversy around genetically modified crops in India. Since then, he has focused on India’s northern neighbor Nepal. His work on Nepal has included research on post conflict social change, the politics of post disaster reconstruction, the politics of caste, grassroots experiences of democracy and the international diffusion of religious movements (Christianity and Hindu nationalism) into Nepal. This research has led to numerous peer reviewed publications over the last few years, in journals such as Contemporary South Asia, Globalizations and New Political Science.
In 2023 Dr. Bownas was awarded a Fulbright Scholar award for Nepal to continue his research into grassroots social change and democratic process in Nepal, by conducting a series of oral history interviews with senior citizens in Nepal; people who have lived through numerous dramatic changes in political systems and whose testimony will form an important archive of Nepali history.