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Department of Politics and International Studies

International Relations of South Asia

Status:
Course Not Running 2014/15
Unit value:
1.0
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3

International Relations of South Asia will give students a broad and comprehensive introduction to this subject. Beginning with conventional IR theory disciplinary frames, it will explore inter-state relations in the South Asian region including the history of conflict between India and Pakistan, the nature of Indian dominance/hegemony over the South Asian region, the place of Afghanistan in conceptualisations of ‘South Asia’, as well as the security perspectives of smaller states in the region including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Other topics in the course will examine non-conventional security issues including questions of economic and environmental security posed by the sharing of international rivers and climate change, as well as the human security issues provoked by ethnic and other forms of conflict in the region. The course will investigate key questions of international political economy including economic liberalization, intra-regional trade, and regional integration with particular reference to the evolution (or lack thereof) of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Moving beyond the ontology of the nation-state, the course will examine the international relations of non-state actors such as insurgencies and subaltern social movements that seek to contest and shape foreign policies of states. It will also explore transnational identities and formations such as diasporas and religious communities that intervene in, and impact, the international relations of South Asia.

Course topics will include
1. REGIONS IN IR: WHAT IS ‘SOUTH ASIA’?
2. THE COLD WAR IN SOUTH ASIA: BANDUNG, PANCHSHEEL, NAM
3. CONVENTIONAL WAR: INDIA, PAKISTAN AND KASHMIR
4. INSURGENCY AND COUNTERINSURGENCY IN SOUTH ASIA: KASHMIR AND AFGHANISTAN
5. JIHAD IN SOUTH ASIA
6. INDIA AND CHINA: THE 1962 WAR AND AFTER
7. MAOISM IN SOUTH ASIA: FROM NAXALBARI TO NEPAL
8. THE NUCLEARISATION OF SOUTH ASIA
9. THE U.S. AND SOUTH ASIA
10. INDIA’S ‘NEAR ABROAD’: THE ARAB WORLD AND IRAN
11. HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION IN SOUTH ASIA: R2P, SRI LANKA, AND THE TAMIL QUESTION
12. BANGLADESH AND CLIMATE CHANGE  
13. ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION AND TRADE
14. REGIONAL INTEGRATION: SAARC
15. RIVERS ACROSS BORDERS: THE INDUS TREATY AND THE FARAKKA BARRAGE
16. INTERREGIONS: THE INDIAN OCEAN
17. SOUTH ASIAN DIASPORA AND IR
18. SUBALTERN CONTESTATIONS OF FOREIGN POLICY: ANTI-NUCLEAR, ANTI-GLOBALIZATION
19. DALIT INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
20. INDIA AS RISING POWER / INDIA AS IMPERIAL POWER?

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of this course, a student should be able to 

  • Identify and appraise concepts in International Relations relevant to the understanding of politics in South Asia
  • Analyse critically historical accounts of the development of inter-state relations in South Asia
  • Develop an appreciation for the ways in which non-state actors and identities can intervene in, and impact, the international relations of South Asia
  • Conceptualise and prepare in written form arguments based on the analysis of different problems in the international relations of South Asia
  • Develop specific research skills in areas of international politics and South Asian area studies
  • Identify core puzzles within the theory and practice of IR in South Asia, create a basic research design with case study to address them, develop this design in consultation with unit lecturers, undertake the research, and write up the results in a 3,000-word assessed coursework essay

Method of assessment

Assessment is 60% unseen examination, 30% coursework and 10% seminar presentation.  The coursework may be resubmitted.