Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Dr. rer. pol. Lion Koenig



  • Associate Researcher

Research areas

  • Political theory
  • Nation-building
  • Citizenship
  • Identity politics
  • Cultural natonalism
  • Political iconography
  • Political communication


  • December 2013

    Completion of Doctoral Studies; Award of the Ph.D. Degree (magna cum laude) by the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Heidelberg University.

    Title of the Doctoral Thesis: ‘Cultural Citizenship and the Politics of Censorship in Postcolonial India: Media, Power, and the Making of the Citizen’ (Supervision: Prof. Subrata K. Mitra, Ph.D. (Rochester), and Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius)

  • October 2009-October 2013

    Doctoral studies at the Cluster of Excellence: ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’ and scholarship holder in the Cluster’s ‘Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies’ (GPTS).

  • October 2004—January 2009

    Study of Political Science of South Asia and English Philology (Literary studies and Linguistics) at Heidelberg University, Germany (Degree: Magister Artium; Grade: 1.2).
  • September 2006-May 2007

    Erasmus Visiting Student at the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK

Research Fellowships and Affiliations

Short-term positions:

Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), Centre for Multilevel Federalism, New Delhi, India; Visiting Research Fellow; May-July 2014

Centre de Sciences Humaines(Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, CSH), New Delhi, India; Visiting Research Fellow; March- July 2014

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Internal Security Cluster, New Delhi, India; Visiting Research Fellow; September-December 2011


Long-term positions:

South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University; Associate Researcher; since 2014

Cluster of Excellence, ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’, Heidelberg University; Associate Researcher; since 2013

South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), Brussels, Belgium; Research Fellow; since 2012

Institute for Language and Communication Studies (ILCS), Izmir, Turkey; International Relations Coordinator and Germany Country Representative; since 2012

Orbis Economics (India Economic Research), New Delhi/Gurgaon; Consultant; since 2011


Presentations at International Conferences

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). 03-06 September 2014. Panel: ‘SAARC at 30—New Perspectives on Regional Cooperation in South Asia’ (Panel Organizer, Chair, and Discussant). Lecture titled: Creating a Transnational Consciousness: The Relevance of Cultural Factors for SAARC’.

University of Zurich, Switzerland. European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS). 23-26 July 2014. Panel: ‘Certifications of Citizenship in South Asia: The History, Politics, and Materiality of Identity Documents’. Lecture titled: ‘From Community- to Individual Citizenship: The Politics of the AADHAR Scheme in India’ (Joint Paper with Bidisha Chaudhuri), 26 July 2014.

Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom. British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS). 02-04 April 2014. Panel: ‘Patterns of Conflict in South Asia: National and International Dimensions’ (Panel Organizer, Chair, and Discussant). Lecture titled: ‘Communal Violence and Cognitive Clashes in India: Hindus, Muslims, and the Conceptual Problem of Secularism’, 03 April 2014.

Oxford University, Mansfield College, United Kingdom. ‘Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging’, 01-03 September 2013. Lecture titled: ‘Culture, Conflict and Citizenship: Global Lessons from the Indian Case?’, 02 September 2013.

University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), United Kingdom. International Communication Association (ICA) ‘New Media, Old Media, Social Media: Changing South Asian Communications Scholarship’, 16-17 June 2013. Lecture titled: ‘Comics as Socio-Political Media: A Case Study of “Grassroots Comics”, India’, 16 June 2013.

University of Mainz, Germany. ‘Discursive Crossings: Subversion and Affirmation of Power Relations’, 19-20 October 2012. Lecture titled: ‘Let a Thousand Ramayanas Bloom: Crossing, Belonging and the Contested Space of India’s Great Epic’, 20 October 2012.

South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), Brussels, Belgium. ‘The Merits of Regional Cooperation—The Case of South Asia’, 11 October 2012. Lecture titled: ‘Governance for Peace—A Culturalist Approach’. Lecture available at:

Izmir University, Turkey. Institute of Language and Communication Studies (ILCS). ‘International Symposium on Language and Communication: Research Trends and Challenges’, 10-13 June 2012. Lecture titled: ‘Cultural Citizenship in India—Communicating Identities’, 11 June 2012.

Joint Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), Honolulu, USA: Co-organizer of a panel titled: ‘Shifting Facets of Governance in Asia: A Transcultural Perspective’, March 31-April 3, 2011. Lecture entitled: ‘Governance in the Age of the Mass Media: Indian (National) Identity at the Crossroads?’, 31 March 2011.

University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. ‘Emerge 2010—India’, 19-20 November 2010. Lecture titled: ‘Modern Economy meets Traditional Society: Balancing Progress, Order and Identity in Contemporary India’; Conduction of a workshop with student participants of the conference on the topic on 19 November 2010.

University of Rostock, Germany: ‘Constituting Political Spaces of Communication through Text and Image’, 30 October 2010. Lecture titled: ‘Lesbian and Indian: The Construction of Citizen Identity in the Indian Media Discourse’.

University of Toronto, Canada. ‘Neither Strange nor Familiar: Contemporary Approaches to Hybridity’, 23 October 2010. Lecture titled: ‘Hybridizing the Media Sphere: Implications for Citizenship in India’.

Heidelberg University, Germany. Annual Conference of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe”, 7 October 2010. Lecture titled: “Breaking up the Pseudo Community: Cultural Citizenship and Media Empowerment in India—Challenges and Opportunities”.

Association for Asian Studies, Philadelphia, USA. Annual Conference, 26 March 2010. Lecture titled: ‘The Power to Censor: Contestations of Citizen-making and Identity in the Indian Context’

Invited Lectures

Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi. Lecture titled: ‘Political Iconography in France and India: A Comparative Perspective’, 15 May 2014.

Thapar University, Dera Bassi, India. L.M. Thapar School of Management. Lecture titled: ‘Political Economy of India: Challenges of the Twenty-first Century’, 18 March 2014.

Shiv Nadar University, Noida, India. School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Lecture titled: ‘Citizenship and the Interdisciplinary of Political Science: Sketching a New Research Agenda’, 12 March 2014.

Heidelberg University, Peterskirche Heidelberg. Lecture titled: ‘Wer ist Mutter Indien?’ (Who is Bharat Mata?), (Part of the Lecture Series on Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the South Asia Institute), 30 May 2012.

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. Lecture titled: ‘Cultural Citizenship in India: From Theory to Policy’ (chaired by Professor T.K. Oommen), 16 December 2011.

Centre for Rural Research and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh. Lecture titled: ‘Indian Citizenship as Conceptual Flow: From Theory to Findings’, 25 February 2011.

Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, Department of Political Science. Lecture titled: ‘Minorities vs. Media Mainstream: A Research Agenda for “Cultural Citizenship” in India’, 22 February 2011.

The University of Burdwan, India. Department of Political Science. Lecture titled: ‘Cultural Citizenship and the Politics of Censorship in India: Theory, Methodology and Findings’, 22 September 2010.

Heidelberg University, Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe’: Research Area D Jour fixe: ‘The Tyranny of Labels—Cultures between Purity and Entanglement’. Lecture titled: ‘Purity as Opportunity? Liberal Ideas in the Light of Political Realities’, 24 June 2010.


Editorial Board

Journal of American Studies: Eurasian Perspectives (JASEP) ISSN: 2147-3498 (since 2013).


Conference Organisation

Member, Steering Committee of Conference ‘Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging’, held at Mansfield College, Oxford, 11-13 September 2014.

Member, Organisation Committee of International Symposium ‘Language and Communication: Exploring Novelties’, held at Ege University, Atatürk Culture Centre in Izmir, Turkey, 17-19 June 2013.


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