SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Government and politics of modern South Asia

Module Code:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year
This module covers the major features of the political systems of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (the smaller countries of the region can be covered on request). Topics given special attention include the nature of the state in South Asia and its relationship to society, the political economy of planned economic development, centre-locality relations, and ideological change.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module  students should have acquired a sound understanding of current academic work on South Asian politics, and should have shown the ability to write well structured and researched papers on selected subjects.


A 1-hour combined lecture/seminar each week.

Method of assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework: two 1,000 essays worth 15% each and two 3,000 word essays worth 35% each.

Suggested reading

  • Rajni Kothari, Politics in India. Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India. Sudipta Kaviraj(ed) Politics in India. Rajeev Bhargava(ed) Secularism and its Critics.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules