1st Edition

Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age

By Giorgio Shani Copyright 2008
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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  


    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.

    '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