SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

South Asian Political Thought

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2022/2023
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2

This module will give students a thorough grounding in South Asian political thought. Part of the course will focus on core political theoretic texts through which modern South Asian political thought, ideas, and ideology have been expressed. The course will also be attentive to political practices through which these ideas are expressed and contested. While a lot of the course will focus on India, it will also engage political thinking in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar to some extent.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Identify key political thinkers in modern South Asian history and politics
  • Identify core themes and arguments with which these thinkers were preoccupied
  • Identify and analyse political practices in which their thought is exemplified, complicated and contested
  • Understand and engage with normative debates over key political questions in South Asia


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

Assignment 1: Essay 30%
Assignment 2: Essay 70%

Suggested reading

  • Gandhi, Hind Swaraj
  • Constitutions of India and Pakistan
  • Tagore, Nationalism
  • Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste
  • M. N. Roy, Radical Humanism


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules