1st Edition

Political Violence in South Asia

Edited By Ali Riaz, Zobaida Nasreen, Fahmida Zaman Copyright 2019
    222 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Political violence has remained an integral part of South Asian society for decades. The region has witnessed and continued to encounter violence for achieving political objectives from above and from below. Violence is perpetrated by the state, by non-state actors, and used by the citizens as a form of resistance. Ethnic insurgency, religion-inspired extremism, and ideology-driven hostility are examples of violent acts that have emerged as challenges to the states which have responded with violence in the form of civil war and through violations of human rights disregarding international norms.

    This book explores various dimensions of political violence in South Asia, namely in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Each chapter either speaks to an important aspect of the political violence or provides an overall picture of the nature and scope of political violence in the respective country. Political violence is understood in the larger sense of political, that is, above and beyond institutions, and also as an integral part of social relationships where social norms and the role of individual agency play seminal roles. The contributions in this book incorporate both institutional and non-institutional dimensions of political violence.

    Exploring how everyday life in South Asian states and societies is transformed by the engagement with violence through direct and indirect methods, this book adopts an interdisciplinary framework; diverse methods are employed – from ethnographic readings to more macro level analyses. The phenomenon is explored from historical, sociological, and political perspectives. This book will be useful as a supplementary text in courses on South Asian Studies in general and South Asian Politics in particular.

    Introduction: Perspectives on Political Violence in South Asia

    Ali Riaz, Fahmida Zaman & Zobaida Nasreen

    Part 1

    1. A Taxonomy of Political Violence in South Asia

    Ali Riaz

    2. Towards a relational view of political violence

    David Jackman

    3. Representation of Political Violence in South Asian English Fiction

    Fahmida Zaman

    Part 2

    4. Explaining Political Violence in Contemporary Bangladesh (2000-2017)

    Saimum Parvez

    5. State Violence and the Everyday - The Ecology of Suspicion and Distrust

    Zobaida Nasreen

    6. Communal violence in India: strategies for prevention

    Maya Chadda

    7. The Politics of Muzaffarnagar Violence in 2013, Uttar Pradesh, India

    Mujibur Rehman

    8. Kashmiri Youth: Redefining the Movement for Self-determination

    Hafsa Kanjwal

    9. Maoism and Political Violence of People’s War in Nepal

    Subho Basu

    10. Strategic Logic of Political Violence in Pakistan

    Farhat Haq

    11. Island of Violence: Ethno-Political Conflict in Sri Lanka

    Neil DeVotta

    12. Political Violence and Post-Colonial State Building in Sri Lanka

    Nirmal Rajith Dewasiri


    Ali Riaz is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Illinois State University, USA where he served as the Chair of the Department of Politics and Government from 2007 to 2017. His publications include Bangladesh: A Political History since Independence (2016) and the co-edited Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Bangladesh (2016).

    Zobaida Nasreen is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Currently she is a Fulbright fellow at the Centre for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University, Texas, USA. Her recent publications include Anthropological Thoughts (2018) and Women’s Journey against All Odds (2013).

    Fahmida Zaman earned her Master’s in Global Politics and Culture from Illinois State University, USA, where she received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award 2017. Her master’s thesis examines the memory of 1947 Indian Partition and identity politics in Bangladesh.