Universiteit Leiden

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James Klapps

External PhD Candidate

J.P.K. Klapps
+31 71 527 1646

James Klapps is a PhD candidate at the Institute for History with broad interests in the history of South Asia⁠. His dissertation research focuses on the Kingdom of Nepal’s international status between circa 1945 and 1955⁠.

More information about James Klapps

Fields of interest

I focus on the history of South Asia and the subcontinent’s global connections. Thematically, I am interested in forms of imperialism, resistances to it, and decolonization; nationalism and its interactions with regional identities and internationalisms; and the global circulation of ideas on anti-imperialism, nationalism, and political organization towards the end of empire and in the early post-colonial period.


Research for my PhD dissertation examines how the Kingdom of Nepal between circa 1945 and 1955 achieved international recognition in the post-imperial system of nation states⁠. As British colonial control in the Indian subcontinent drew to a close, the political status of Nepal was far from clear; newly independent India initially opposed its admission to the U⁠.N⁠., resisted Nepal’s attempts to establish diplomatic relations, absorbed the ‘princely states’ of the former British India, and implemented truncated forms of independence on the Himalayan kingdoms of Sikkim and Bhutan that had similarly experienced forms of informal colonial control⁠. 

The project will pay particular attention to the role of external contingencies in enabling Nepal to achieve a unique outcome in the subcontinent⁠. This research will view Nepal in a globally connective manner and foreground how Nepalis positioned themselves in important debates at the end of the colonial era on political identity, possibilities for socio-political organization, and how the kingdom should relate to the region and world⁠.

Curriculum Vitae

I completed an M.A. in International Relations and certificate of advanced South Asian studies at Syracuse University and an M.A. in history at Kings College London.

External PhD Candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • History and International Studies
  • No relevant ancillary activities
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