Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age

1st Edition

By Giorgio Shani


200 pages

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Paperback: 9780415586108
pub: 2010-04-08
Hardback: 9780415421904
pub: 2007-12-06
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pub: 2007-12-06
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Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age examines the construction of a Sikh national identity in post-colonial India and the diaspora and explores the reasons for the failure of the movement for an independent Sikh state: Khalistan. Based on a decade of research, it is argued that the failure of the movement to bring about a sovereign, Sikh state should not be interpreted as resulting from the weakness of the ‘communal’ ties which bind members of the Sikh ‘nation’ together, but points to the transformation of national identity under conditions of globalization. Globalization is perceived to have severed the link between nation and state and, through the proliferation and development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), has facilitated the articulation of a transnational ‘diasporic’ Sikh identity. It is argued that this ‘diasporic’ identity potentially challenges the conventional narratives of international relations and makes the imagination of a post-Westphalian community possible. Theoretically innovative and interdisciplinary in approach, it will be primarily of interest to students of South Asian studies, political science and international relations, as well as to many others trying to come to terms with the continued importance of religious and cultural identities in times of rapid political, economic, social and cultural change.


'The author deserves applause for creating a readable narrative that effectively incorporates his understanding of Sikh history and demonstrates his close acquaintance with the theoretical literature centered upon themes ranging from identity formation to nationalism, diaspora studies, and globalization.' - Gurinder Singh Mann, University of California, Santa Barbara

'This book provides a rich synthesis of the existing literature on the subject, with a critical review of the arguments of the leading scholars in the field. The argument builds gradually and cogently, weaving the story from Punjab to the diaspora. The author does well to incorporate such diverse literature and argumentation, as well as providing us with new data on how the Sikhs in the diaspora are imagining Sikh identity in a global age. There is interesting use of internet groups that have been at the forefront of some of the debates that dominate the contemporary discourses about Sikh identity' - Gurharpal Singh, University of Birmingham, Nations Review

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Rethinking Sikh Nationalism in a Global Age 2. From Panth to Qaum: The Construction of a Sikh ‘National’ Identity in Colonial India 3. The Territorialization of the Qaum: Sikh ‘National’: Identity in Independent India 4. From Khalistan to Punjabiat: Globalization, Hindutva and the Decline of Sikh Militancy 5. ‘The Territorialization of Memory’: Sikh Nationalism in the ‘Diaspora’ 6. The Politics of Recognition: From a Sikh ‘National’ to a Sikh ‘Diasporic’ Identity in a Post 9/11 World? 7. Beyond Khalistan? The Sikh Diaspora, Globalisation and International Relations. Conclusion

About the Author

Giorgio Shani is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the International Christian University, Japan. He is co-editor of Protecting Human Security in a Post 9/11 World (2007), and has published widely in leading academic journals including International Studies Review, The Cambridge Review of International Affairs, South Asia Research and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies

South Asia, with its burgeoning, ethnically diverse population, soaring economies, and nuclear weapons, is an increasingly important region in the global context. The series, which builds on this complex, dynamic and volatile area, features innovative and original research on the region as a whole or on the countries. Its scope extends to scholarly works drawing on history, politics, development studies, sociology and economics of individual countries from the region as well those that take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the area as a whole or to a comparison of two or more countries from this region. In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the insights germane to area studies, as well as the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods. The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from young authors who have recently completed their doctoral dissertations.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture