Politics of South Asia Beyond India

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the historical and sociological factors that contribute to politics in South Asia.

The module takes a country-specific and a comparative approach, It focuses on comparisons between states around South Asia, particularly, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and (time permitting) Bhutan and the Maldives. On several occasions, we examine these countries from a comparative perspective that also includes India.

Objectives and learning outcomes

  • Acquire knowledge of South Asian politics – its historical trajectories and major themes as well as similarities and differences across countries
  • Critically engage with the scholarly approaches relevant to an understanding of South Asian politics as well as important debates in the theoretical and historical literature.
  • Construct arguments that demonstrate knowledge of specific cases as well as general theories, combining empirical detail with theoretical analysis


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 2 hour seminar per week.

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: Critical Reading 30%
  • Assignment 2: Research Essay 70%

Suggested reading

  • Bose, Sugata and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy, 1998.
  • (J954 /902971)
  • Brown, Judith, Modern India: The Origins of an Asian Democracy, 1985
  • Brass, Paul R. The Politics of India since Independence, second edition 1994.
  • Corbridge, S. and J. Harriss, Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and Popular Democracy,


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.