Offering a detailed analysis of post-colonial South Asia, The Politics of Dialogue discusses the creation and impact of borders and the pervasive tension between the new nations. Neither all-out war nor complete peace, this fragile condition makes political leaders and strategists feel claustrophobic - a war produces an end result but peace allows the rulers to carry out their policies for governing along their preferred path of development. The book shows how cartographic, communal and political lines are not only dividing countries, but that they are being replicated within countries, creating new visible and invisible internal frontiers. It argues that, in a situation where geopolitics constrains democracy, the political class becomes incapable of coping with the tension between the inside/outside, eg democracy appears as an internal problem and geopolitics appears as a problem related to the 'outside'.
'"The Politics of Dialogue" is both sharp and lyrical. On the one hand, Ranabir Samaddar puts a dagger in the heart of strategic studies; on the other, he provides a compelling poetics of peace, in the form of an eloquently articulated program for dialogic justice. His investigation of war, peace, and democracy is intelligent, nuanced, and - above all - politically astute.' Professor Michael Shapiro, University of Hawaii, USA. 'Ranabir Samaddar's new book is an extraordinary attempt at displacing the objects, the viewpoint, and the agenda of democratic politics in the "globalized" world … His elaborated proposal to replace the easy "friend vs foe" dialectic by the difficult enterprise of mutual recognition and restorative justice has a philosophical relevance that should be recognized universally and help us resist the self-fulfilling prophecy of the "clash of civilizations".' Professor Etienne Balibar, University of Nanterre, France, and University of California, Irvine, USA
Contents: Introduction; Peace as a political question of our time; In the time of the partitioned nations; The ineluctable logic of geopolitics; Autonomy and the requirements of minimal justice; Governing through peace accords; Two ceasefires, one story; Friends, foes and understanding; The non-dialogic world of the humanitarian; Received histories of war and peace; Epilogue: ten principles; Bibliography; Index.