He has done his studies at the Madras University, Centre for Social Studies, Surat, and Nottingham University. His previous appointments include, Senior Fellow and Director, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore (2004-2014), Visiting Professor, National Law University Delhi (2012-14), Visiting Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore (2014), and in various faculty capacities at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (1993-2004).
He was recipient of the British Chevening Fellowship (1995-96) and the Commonwealth post-doctoral award (2000-01) at the Law School, University of Warwick, UK. He has been a Fellow at Nantes Institute of Advanced Studies, France (2009). Prof Kakarala has been involved in collaborative research at an international level, has supervised Ph.D. candidates and has published widely. His academic interests include, Human Rights Law, Comparative studies of law and Legal and Political Theory.