American Institute of Indian Studies

AIIS Mourns the Death of Stanley Kochanek

AIIS is very sad to report that our colleague and friend Stanley Kochanek died unexpectedly on May 2, due to complications from open heart surgery. Stan was the AIIS Trustee from Pennsylvania State University for twenty years, during which he participated actively in all of the affairs of the AIIS. After the death of his wife, Priscilla Boughton, he created an endowed fellowship fund to support an AIIS junior fellow in the Social Sciences each year. He kept in contact with the Priscilla M. Boughton-Stanley A. Kochanek fellows and encouraged the development of their research and academic careers. After his retirement from Penn State, Stan moved to the Washington, DC area where he maintained an active engagement with the research and policy community.

Stan made important scholarly contributions to the study of politics in India and South Asia more generally. His books The Congress Party of India: the Dynamics of One-party Democracy and Business and Politics in India were particularly significant works. With Robert Hardgrave, he authored the influential text on Indian politics, India: Government and Politics in a Developing Nation which is now in its eighth edition. He later extended his research to publish books on the state and business groups in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Since 2002 there have been seven Priscilla M. Boughton-Stanley A. Kochanek fellows: Sunila Kale, Dept. of Government, University of Texas for the project, “Power Steering: State Electricity Boards, Local Politics, and the Trajectory of Reform”; Gayatri Menon, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, for the project, “State, Citizens, and Urban Squatters”; Arpita Chakrabarti, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, for the project, “Reinventing Umma: Transnationality among Muslims in Delhi and New York”; Neera Singh, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, for the project, “Democratizing Forest Governance: Emergent Community Forestry Federations in Orissa”; Prerna Singh, Department of Politics, Princeton University, for the project, “Worlds Apart: A Comparative Analysis of Social Development Outcomes in Indian States”; Shanna Dietz, Department of Political Science, Indiana University, for the project, “Globalization and Traditional Identity in Hyderabad”; Akshay Mangla, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for the project, “Welfare of the Voiceless: Explaining the Persistence and Decline of Child Labor in India.”

Stan attended the AIIS reception in Philadelphia on March 25. Nancy Hensel, his fiancée, who accompanied him at that time, has requested that memorial donations in his memory be made to the Boughton-Kochanek Fellowship fund at the AIIS. She has also said that there will be a memorial service for Stan in Fort Myer, Virginia on May 27. We will have further information in the AIIS office.

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