Varun Sahni is Professor in International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Before joining the JNU faculty in 1995, he was Junior Research Fellow in Politics and Junior Dean at Lincoln College, Oxford (1989-92); Resident Fellow of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi (1993-94) and Reader in Latin American Politics at Goa University (1994-95). An Inlaks Scholar, Varun wrote his doctoral dissertation on the political role of the Argentine Navy at the University of Oxford (1991). He has served as the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu (2008-2012) and the 8th Vice-Chancellor of Goa University (2016-2021). For his "outstanding contribution to research and teaching", he was conferred the VKRV Rao Prize in Social Sciences (2006) by the Indian Council of Social Science Research.
Of his many professional engagements, Professor Sahni is particularly proud that for 14 continuous years, from 2006 to 2019, he was invited to speak annually at National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi. He also speaks/has spoken at Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service, New Delhi; Army War College, Mhow; Naval War College, Goa; College of Defence Management, Secunderabad; Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; Naval Academy, Ezhimala; Sher-i-Kashmir Police Academy, Udhampur; Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie; Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS), Phuentsholing, Bhutan; National Defence College, Sultanate of Oman, Muscat, Oman; Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay, Australia; and Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, UK.
Apart from the six years (1986-1992) that he spent at Oxford University as a graduate student and research fellow, Professor Sahni has held visiting professorships/fellowships at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA (1997) ; Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico City, Mexico (1997-1999); National Defense University, Washington, DC, USA (2003, under the Fulbright Military Academies Initiative) and the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (2008). He has been "Personnalité d'Avenir" at the French Foreign Ministry (1995) and was a Member of Mexico's Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (National System of Researchers) (1999-2002).
Among his significant committee responsibilities in India, Professor Sahni has been Jury Member of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Chairman of the Programme Committee of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi (2011-20), Member of the FIST Advisory Board of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (2009-16) and Member of the Executive Committee of Indian Pugwash Society (2003-06, 2012-18). He has also been a Member of the Academic Council/Planning Board/Committee of Direction of Central University of Jammu (2015-20), Islamic University of Science & Technology, Awantipora (2012-15), Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri (2012-15), Tezpur University (2013-15) and Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram (2015-18).
For sixteen years (2003-16), Professor Sahni edited South Asian Survey, an international peer review journal of repute. He serves/has served on the editorial boards of The Chinese Journal of International Politics (Oxford University Press) (from 2006), Asian Security Series, Stanford University Press (2007-14), Contemporary Politics (Taylor & Francis) (from 2008), and International Studies Quarterly (2009-14).
Professor Sahni researches and writes on nuclear deterrence issues, regional security, emerging balances in the Asia-Pacific, evolving security concepts, emerging powers, international relations theory, borders, Latin American issues and, most recently, river waters. He is also interested in understanding the impact of technology in education, having co-authored two key documents for TIFAC, the technology think-tank of Government of India: Technology Vision 2035 (2015) and Educational Technology Roadmap (2017). His 102 research articles and book chapters have been published in Current History, Contemporary South Asia, South African Journal of International Affairs, Relações Internacionais (Portugal) and Journal of Latin American Studies, amongst others. He has participated in over 220 academic conferences, 90 of them held outside India, as paper presenter, session chair, organiser or discussant.