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Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia

Edited By

Sten Widmalm



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ISBN 9780367486747
November 29, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
408 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

This handbook offers a comprehensive analysis of the processes and actors contributing to autocratization in South Asia. It provides an enhanced understanding of the interconnectedness of the different states in the region, and how that may be related to autocratization.

The book analyses issues of state power, the support for political parties, questions relating to economic actors and sustainable economic development, the role of civil society, questions of equality and political culture, political mobilization, the role of education and the media, as well as topical issues such as the Covid pandemic, environmental issues, migration, and military and international security. Structured in five sections, contributions by international experts describe and explain outcomes at the national level in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The final section analyses conditions for democracy and autocratization and how they are affected by the interplay of political forces at the international level in this region.

  • India – Building and ethnic state?
  • Pakistan – The decline of civil liberties
  • Bangladesh – Towards one-party rule
  • Sri Lanka – The resilience of the ethnic state
  • How to comprehend autocratization in South Asia – Three broad perspectives

This innovative handbook is the first to describe and to explain ongoing trends of autocratization in South Asia, demonstrating that drivers of political change also work across boundaries. It is an important reference work for students and researchers of South Asian Studies, Asian Studies, Area Studies, and Political Science. 

Table of Contents

Introduction – Autocratization in South Asia

1. Autocratization in South Asia, Sandra Grahn, Staffan Lindberg and Sten Widmalm

Part 1 India – Building and ethnic state?

2. Neo-Authoritarianism in India under Narendra Modi: Growing Force or Critical Discourse?, Devin K Joshi

3. Prefiguring Alternatives to Autocratization: Democratic Dissent in Contemporary India, Amrita Basu

4. Autocratization in Kashmir, Šumit Ganguly

5. Re-positing Gender in the New Nationalist Paradigm, Dinoo Anna Mathew

6. Autocratic environmental governance in India, Anwesha Dutta and Kenneth Bo Nielsen

7. Living Dangerously: The Heartland Heralds the New Communal-Authoritarian Model of Indian Democracy, Zoya Hasan

8. Hindu Nationalist Statecraft and Modi’s Authoritarian Populism, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Alf Gunvald Nilsen

9. India’s inexorable path to autocratization: Looking beyond Modi and the populist lens, Soundarya Chidambaram

10. The Social Roots of the Authoritarian Turn in India, Patrick Heller

11. A de facto or a de jure Ethnic Democracy?: From Hindu Rashtra to Hindu Raj, Christophe Jaffrelot

Part 2 Pakistan – The decline of civil liberties

12. Pakistan’s Hybrid Regime: Growing Democratization, or Increased Authoritarianism?, Ian Talbot

13. Exploring how religious clientelism hinders democratic choice: Clients of God, Aiysha Varraich

14. Digital Autocratization of Pakistan, Rizvan Saeed

15. A Supreme Court or a Constitutional Jirga?, Moeen Chema

16. Autocratization and Religious Minorities in Pakistan, Ahmad Salim and Rizvan Saeed

17. CPEC, Governance, and China’s Belt and Road in South Asia: The Path of Most Resistance?, Marc Lanteigne 

Part 3 Bangladesh – Towards one-party rule

18. Bangladesh: In Pursuit of a One-Party State?, Ali Riaz

19. The Decline of Democratic Governance: Protests at the Phulbari and Rampal Coal Mine, Shelley Feldman

20. Disaster governance and autocratic legitimation in Bangladesh: Aiding autocratization?, Maren Aase

21. Islamist extremism in Bangladesh: A pretext for autocratization, Asheque Haque

22. Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh: The making of a strongman regime, Arild Engelsen Ruud

23. Local Government Institutions under Authoritarian Rule in Bangladesh, Serdar Yilmaz and Syed Khaled Ahsan

Part 4 Sri Lanka – The resilience of the ethnic state

24. Ethnoreligious Nationalism and Autocratization in Sri Lanka, Neil DeVotta

25. Autocratisation, Buddhist nationalist extremism and the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka, Farah Mihlar

26. Global Worker Protests and Tools of Autocratization in Sri Lanka: Rendering them Silent, Sandya Hewamanne

27. Militarization and impunity in Sri Lanka, Øivind Fuglerud

Part 5 How to comprehend autocratization in South Asia – Three broad perspectives

28. Autocratization and regime convergence in South Asia – An undetermined path, Sten Widmalm

29. Gravitational pull of authoritarian China in South Asia?, Johan Lagerkvist

30. Autocratisation as an Ideological Project: Carl Schmitt's Anti-Liberalism in South Asia, David Lewis

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Editor(s)

Biography

Sten Widmalm is Professor in political science at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden. He has carried out extensive research on crisis management, political tolerance, democracy and conflicts in a global comparative perspective. His recent publications include "Political Tolerance in the Global South – Images from India, Pakistan and Uganda" (Routledge, 2016).

Reviews

The essays of this handbook dissect the trends towards creeping authoritarianism in South Asia. Even India, long a poster boy of ‘third world’ democracy, appears to be catching up with its neighbours in a ‘non-democratic regime convergence’. However, instead of merely confirming Huntington’s deterministic pessimism regarding non-western democracy, or jumping on to wide-eyed bushy tailed advocacy, authors of this important volume follow a third trajectory, based on fine grained empirical analysis and empathy with their subject, within a comparative framework. This handbook should become an indispensable tool for the people of South Asia, as well as for outsiders, looking in. Subrata Mitra, emeritus Professor of Political Science at Heidelberg University, and Adjunct Professor, Dublin City University, Ireland.

Situating South Asia’s democratic trends in a broad historical context, this wide-ranging volume addresses a crucial, timely and policy-relevant question: why is democracy faltering in the world’s most populous region? While authoritarianism was the twentieth century’s historical norm, recent democratic improvements have faltered and even reversed. Assembling the best regional experts, this book exposes the proximate cause of regional democratic backsliding — leaders invoking cultural identities to legitimate non-democratic behaviour — while underscoring its deeper and more enduring institutional roots. It will serve as indispensable reading for regional experts, democracy watchers and policymakers alike. Maya Tudor, Associate Professor, Blavatnik School of Government, Fellow, St. Hilda's College, Oxford University, UK.

Studies of democratic decline in South Asia tend to focus on just one country. This excellent and timely volume brings together leading scholars of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi politics and society to explore, across a range of issues, what’s similar and what’s different about recent democratic weakening in the region. Indispensable. Steven I. Wilkinson, Henry R. Luce Director, MacMillan Center, Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies, Department of Political Science, Yale University, USA.