2nd Edition

Religion and Politics in South Asia

Edited By Ali Riaz Copyright 2021
    238 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This revised edition of Religion and Politics in South Asia presents a comprehensive analysis of the interaction of religion and politics in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

    The book highlights that in recent decades, religion, religio-political parties, and religious rhetoric have become dominant features of the political scenes in all seven countries. By presenting each country's political system and the socio-economic environment within which the interactions of religion and politics are taking place, chapters explore various factors that affect both the lives of people in the region and global politics. Designed in an easy-to-follow structure, the book includes sections on the history and politics, major religions and religious composition of the population, legal and constitutional provisions regarding religion, religious freedom and the treatment of minorities, the political landscape, and religio-political parties and groups within the countries. In doing so, the book addresses concerns including the effects of religio-political interactions on political stability, human rights, and the implications for internal and external security situations.

    A timely contribution written by experts in their field, this book is a useful guide to religion and politics and will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students in South Asian politics, Asian politics, religion and politics, history, and international studies.

    Introduction: the tangled web of religion and politics in South Asia

    Ali Riaz

    1. The "God Gap?" Public perception on religion-politics mix in South Asia

    Md. Sohel Rana

    2. Islam in Afghan conflicts and politics

    Abdulkader H. Sinno

    3. Bangladesh: the return of religion to the political center stage

    Ali Riaz

    4. India: from secular to sickular

    Anirban Acharya

    5. Democracy and Salafism in the Maldives: a battle for the future

    Azra Naseem

    6. Nepal: from Hindu monarchy to secular democracy

    Subho Basu

    7. Pakistan: a state for the Muslims or an Islamic state?

    Farhat Haq

    8. Sri Lanka: the Buddhisization of politics in the Sinhala-South

    Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri


    Ali Riaz is a distinguished professor of political science at Illinois State University, USA, and a nonresident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council. His recent publications include Voting in a Hybrid Regime: Explaining the 2018 Bangladeshi Election (2019); Political Violence in South Asia (Routledge, 2018), co-edited with Zobaida Nasreen and Fahmida Zaman; and the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Bangladesh, co-edited with Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman (Routledge, 2016).