Remembrance for Professor Paul Wallace (1931-2020) by Jugdep S. Chima

Fall 2020
The field of Sikh and Punjab studies lost a senior member in political scientist Paul
Wallace, who passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 22 at his home in
Columbia, Missouri. Professor Wallace had a distinguished career spanning over
five decades as an internationally-renowned expert on Indian politics, particularly
Sikh and Punjab politics, at the University of Missouri starting in 1964 until his
formal retirement as professor emeritus in 2005. In the field of Sikh and Punjab
studies, he was fondly known as one of the “Missouri twins”—the other being the
late historian Professor N. G. “Jerry” Barrier who also taught at Missouri during
the same period of time. Professor Wallace’s career included several dozen
research/professional trips to India including Punjab, the last one only a few weeks
before his passing.

Paul Wallace was born in Los Angeles, California in 1931. He graduated from the
University of California—Berkeley in 1953 with an undergraduate degree in
political science, and subsequently served in the US Army during the Korean War.
He returned to Berkeley to complete a M.A. in 1957, and a Ph.D. in political science
in 1966. Paul Wallace’s dissertation was one of the first major academic studies
on Punjab politics, particularly focusing on how internal factionalism within the
state’s two major political parties (the Akali Dal and Congress) helped integrate a
variety of societal interest groups into the emerging democratic political process in
India. It emphasized the essential role “factions” play within political parties in
aggregating interests and deepening democratic vibrancy in postcolonial settings.

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