John & Daria Barry Postdoctoral Fellow in Constitutional Law or Constitutional Theory

Yasser Kureshi

  • I work on comparative constitutional law and politics. My current research examines constitutional politics in post-authoritarian states.

  • Previously, I spent two years as a Senior Teaching Fellow with the Department of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

  • I hold a PhD in Politics from Brandeis University (2018), and a juris doctor from Boston University School of Law (2012).

Yasser Kureshi


I study the constitutional politics of unelected institutions in post-authoritarian states. My focus is primarily on the military and the judiciary and their impact on constitutional configurations and democratic outcomes in post-authoritarian stats. As part of this research, I am developing a cross-national project exploring the nature, causes and consequences of judicial populism, in collaboration with other researchers.

Previously, my doctoral research examined whether courts can challenge politically powerful militaries and bring them under civilian control, and focused primarily on Pakistan. My dissertation won the American Political Science Association’s 2019 Edward S. Corwin Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public law. I am currently developing my dissertation into a publishable book manuscript.

I also have past and ongoing research projects studying democratic backsliding in South Asia, coup legitimation strategies and the making of activist legal cultures.

For further information on my research and teaching interests, please visit my personal website.

Selected Publications

‘When Judges Defy Dictators’, Comparative Politics (advance Online Publication available here)

Kureshi, Yasser and Sharan Grewal, ‘How to Sell a Coup: Elections as Coup Legitimation’, Journal of Conflict Resolution 63(4) (2019), 1001-1031

‘Judicial Politics in Hybrid States: Judiciary and Political Parties in Pakistan’, in eds. Marium Mufti, Sahar Shafqat, Niloufer Siddiqui, Pakistan’s Political Parties: Against All Odds (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2020)

‘ “Judicialising” the Pandemic in Pakistan’, Asian Legal Conversations – COVID-19, Asian Law Centre, Melbourne Law School (May 2020)

To Convict a Dictator: Judges versus Generals in Pakistan, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog (December 2019). Available here.

Kureshi, Yasser. “What is Judicial Populism and how does it work in Pakistan?” Dawn. February 2019. Available at:

Dr Kureshi