Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

A Contemporary History of South Asia

01 June 2007 - 31 May 2010

South Asia has always been one of the most diverse and fascinating regions of the world, but it has often been neglected in global studies, largely because of its limited involvement in the Cold War. In the years since the Cold War ended, however, both the region's dynamism and its instability have demanded the world's attention. Rapid but uneven economic development; powerful claims for greater roles in international institutions; the development of nuclear capacity by two of the world's most implacable enemy nations; violent ethnic and religious conflict; and the long shadow of terrorism from its hinterland have all combined to make South Asia one of the most important areas of interest in the contemporary world. A comprehensive and up to date study of current trends within all aspects of South Asian societies, economies and politics is badly needed.

The main research objective will be to analyse how nation states in South Asia are responding to a variety of global challenges – in combination with regional and sub-national ones. These can be broadly conceived as:

  • Economic globalisation and the rising power of markets, corporations and consumers
  • The influence of diasporic populations, international organisations and key bilateral partners, notably the US and China
  • International relations in the post-Cold War era and, in particular, the emergence of the War on Terror in the context of domestic and regional conflicts
  • Increasing politicisation of religion and ethnicity and challenges to political elitism
  • Continuing poverty, population pressures and environmental change.

Project Publications

Will lead to a book to be published by Wiley-Blackwell.

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