Sanjay Kumar is currently a Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He served as the Director of CSDS from January 2014 till January 2020. He is mainly a scholar working on Indian Elections, voting behaviour, but using quantitative method, he is engaged in conducting research on wide range of themes namely Indian Youth, State of Democracy in South Asia, State of Indian Farmers, Slums of Delhi. Most recently he has been engaged in doing research on Status of Policing in India.
He has published several books and edited volumes on Indian elections. Some of his books are Post Mandal Politics in Bihar: Changing Electoral Patterns, Changing Electoral Politics in Delhi: From Caste to Class. As an expert on Survey method he delivers lecture in various universities on the theme “Using Survey Method in Social Sciences”. His book (with Praveen Rai) Measuring Voting Behaviour in India was first published in English (2013) and has been translated in Hindi and Marathi. This book is on the list of essential reading in Political Science in many colleges of Delhi University.
He has also worked extensively on Issues related to Indian Youth. The research on Indian Youth is largely survey based, has conducted three rounds of nation-wide survey on various sociological and political issues related to Indian Youth. He has also co-authored and edited volumes on Indian Youth: (With Peter De Souza and Sandeep Shastri) [Indian Youth in a Transforming World: Attitudes and Perceptions, Indian Youth and Electoral Politics: An Emerging Engagement]. The edited volume Youth in India: Aspiration, Attitudes, Anxieties published by Routledge, is his most recent publication on Indian Youth.
His research, especially on electoral politics, is also noticed by policy makers. The Election Commission of Indian had commissioned the Lokniti Program of which he is the co-director to conduct research related to people’s opinion and attitudes towards Electronic Voting Machine, issues related to lower enrollment and lower turnout in Delhi and to better understand the NOTA vote. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel invited him to present before the standing committee to make suggestion for electoral reforms. The ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs also appreciated this research and he was also appointed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs to advise the ministry on issues related to Youth.
Besides academic writing he writes regularly for both English and Hindi newspapers. His articles are published regularly in The Hindu, Indian Express, Asian Age, Deccan Chronicles, The Mint, Dainik Bhaskar and Rajasthan Patrika. He is also a well-known Psephologist and a familiar face on Indian Television as election analyst.