The radical act of suicide protest is undertaken by social movement participants in order to demand a particular previously articulated political outcome. This book examines the history and impact of suicide protest, which has been increasingly used as a protest tactic since World War II, adding to a growing area of research on the ability of certain actions to impact policy in favour of movement goals.
The book offers a combination of historical and contemporary cases analysis from South Asia, where different iterations of this tactic have been used extensively throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, including the use of fasting to the death, self-immolation, and deliberate drowning. Focussing on the success or failure or a particular action relevant to the movement’s broader mobilization strategy, the author examines the internal impact this has on the movement and the mechanisms by which suicide as a form of protest evolves.
Providing a unique contribution to the field of comparative politics, political violence and social movement studies this book will be of interest to scholars working on political science, sociology and South Asian studies.
1. Introduction 2. Gandhi and the Development of Suicide Protest in India 3. Successful Suicide: Potti Sriramulu and the Question of Andhra 4. Short-term Success: The Narmada Dam Bachao Andolan 5. Failure of the Tactic: The Anti-reservation Movement 6. The Tactical Approach and Suicide Bombing in Sri Lanka 7. Suicide protest in a Global Perspective 8. Conclusion
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.