Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, 1st Edition

Edited by Paul R. Brass


480 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Now available in paperback, the Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics examines key issues in politics of the five independent states of the South Asian region: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Written by experts in their respective areas, this Handbook introduces the reader to the politics of South Asia by presenting the prevailing agreements and disagreements in the literature.

In the first two sections, the Handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the modern political history of the states of the region and an overview of the independence movements in the former colonial states. The other sections focus on the political changes that have occurred in the postcolonial states since independence, as well as the successive political changes in Nepal during the same period, and the structure and functioning of the main governmental and non-governmental institutions, including the structure of the state itself (unitary or federal), political parties, the judiciary, and the military. Further, the contributors explore several aspects of the political process and political and economic change, especially issues of pluralism and national integration, political economy, corruption and criminalization of politics, radical and violent political movements, and the international politics of the region as a whole.

This unique reference work provides a comprehensive survey of the state of the field and is an invaluable resource for students and academics interested in South Asian Studies, South Asian Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations.


"What's not to like in a handbook of South Asian politics edited by someone as respected as Paul Brass and containing contributions from a further 28 of the best-informed scholars of their time?" - Robin Jeffrey, National University of Singapore; Pacific Affairs, 2013.

"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduate collections and above." - A. Ahmad, CHOICE (June 2011)

"Drawing on contributions from 28 eminent regional experts, the Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics, now published in paperback, provides a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the main issues confronting contemporary South Asia.[…] The volume successfully manages to capture and outline, with analytical depth, the complexity of South Asia’s puzzling institutional and political developments. Each country’s individual political course is clearly addressed, also in a comparative perspective, from the very first pages. […] This unique and wide-ranging volume is thus an essential read for students, researchers and practitioners who are interested in deepening their understanding of South Asian dynamics, presenting them with an exhaustive, comprehensive and wellrounded reading." - Filippo Boni, University of Nottingham. Political Studies Review: 2015, 13(1)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Paul R. Brass Part 1 Colonialism, Nationalism, and Independence in South Asia: India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka 1. India and Pakistan Ian Talbot 2. Sri Lanka’s Independence: Shadows Over a Colonial Graft Nira Wickramasinghe Part 2 Political Change, Political Parties, and the Issue of Unitary vs. Federal Forms of Government 3. Political Change, Political Structure and the Indian State Since Independence John Harriss 4. Parties and Politics in India Virginia Van Dyke

5. Pakistan’s Politics and Its Economy Shahid Javed Burki 6. Party Overinstitutionalization, Contestation and Democratic Degradation in Bangladesh Harry Blair 7. Politics and Governance in Post-Independence Sri Lanka Neil DeVotta

8. Trajectories of Democracy and Restructuring of the State in Nepal Krishna Hachhethu and David N. Gellner Federalism and Centre-State Relations

9. The Old and the New Federalism in Independent India Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Part 3 The Judiciary 10. India’s Judiciary: Imperium in Imperio? Shylashri Shankar 11. Balancing Act: Prudence, Impunity and Pakistan’s Jurisprudence Paula R. Newberg 12. Confronting Constitutional Curtailments: Attempts to Rebuild Independence of the Judiciary in Bangladesh Sara Hossein and Tanjib-ul Alam

13. Executive Sovereignty: The Judiciary in Sri Lanka Shylashri Shankar Part 4 Pluralism and National Integration: Language Issues 14. Politics of Language in India E. Annamalai 15. Language Problems and Politics in Pakistan Tariq Rahman Part 5 Crises of National Unity 16. Crises of National Unity in India: Punjab, Kashmir and the Northeast Gurharpal Singh 17. Communal and Caste Politics and Conflicts in India Steven I. Wilkinson 18. Ethnic and Islamic Militancy in Pakistan Mohammad Waseem 19. Ethnic Conflict and the Civil War in Sri Lanka Jayadeva Uyangoda Part 6 Political Economy India 20. The Political Economy of Development in India Since Independence Stuart Corbridge 21. The Political Economy of Agrarian Change in India Jan Breman Sri Lanka 22. Economic Development and Socio-Political Change in Sri Lanka since Independence W. D. Lakshman Part 7 Comparative Chapters 23. The Militaries of South Asia Stephen P. Cohen 24. Corruption and the Criminalization of Politics in South Asia Stanley A. Kochanek 25. Radical and Violent Political Movements Sumanta Banerjee 26. The International Politics of South Asia Vernon Hewitt Bibliography

About the Editor

Paul R. Brass is Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. His most recent books are Forms of Collective Violence: Riots, Pogroms, and Genocide in Modern India (2006) and The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India (2003).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies