Orientalism refers to the imitation of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West, and was devised in order to have authority over the Orient. The concept of Re-Orientalism maintains the divide between the Orient and the West. However, where Orientalism is based on how the West constructs the East, Re-Orientalism is grounded on how the cultural East comes to terms with an orientalised East. This book explores various new forms, objects and modes of circulation that sustain this renovated form of Orientalism in South Asian culture. The contributors identify and engage with recent debates about postcolonial South Asian identity politics, discussing a range of different texts and films such as The White Tiger, Bride & Prejudice and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. Providing new theoretical insights from the areas of literature, film studies and cultural and discourse analysis, this book is an stimulating read for students and scholars interested in South Asian culture, postcolonial studies and identity politics.
This book is the first comparative analysis of a new generation of diasporic Anglophone South Asian women novelists including Kiran Desai, Tahmima Anam, Monica Ali, Kamila Shamsie and Jhumpa Lahiri from a feminist perspective. It charts the significant changes these writers have produced in postcolonial and contemporary women’s fiction since the late 1990s. Paying careful attention to the authors’ distinct subcontinental backgrounds of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – as well as India - this study destabilises the central place given to fiction focused on India. It broadens the customary focus on diasporic writers’ metropolitan contexts, illuminates how these transnational, female-authored literary texts challenge national assumptions and considers the ways in which this new configuration of transnational, feminist writers produces a postcolonial feminist discourse, which differs from Anglo-American feminism.
In recent social research, ethnicity has mostly been used as an explanatory variable. It was only after it was agreed that ethnicity, in itself, is subject to change, were the questions of how and why it changes, possible to answer. This multiplicity of ethnic identities requires that we think of each society as one with multiple ethnic dimensions, of which any can become activated in the process of political competition - and sometimes several of them within a short period of time. Focusing on Malaysia and Indonesia, this book traces the variations of ethnic identity by looking at electoral strategies in two sub-national units. It shows that ethnic identities are subject to change - induced by calculated moves by political entrepreneurs who use identities as tools to maximize their chances of winning elections or expanding support base - and highlights how political institutions play an enormous role in shaping the modes and dynamics of these ethno-political manipulations. The book suggests that in societies where ethnic identities are activated in politics, instead of analysing politics with ethnic distribution as an independent variable, ethnic distribution can be taken as the dependent variable, with political institutions being the explanatory one. It examines the problems of voters’ behaviour, and parties’ and candidates’ strategy in a polity that is, to a significant extent, driven by ethnic relations. Pushing the boundaries of qualitative research on Southeast Asian politics by placing formal institutions at the centre of its analysis, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Southeast Asian Politics, Race and Ethnic Studies, and International Relations.
At its most basic, re-Orientalism is defined as forms of Orientalism practiced and manifested by Orientals in representing the Orient. This book looks at the application and discourse of re-Orientalism in contemporary Indian and South Asian writing in English, particularly social realism fiction.
The South Asian security complex refers to security interdependencies between the states in the region, and also includes the effect that powerful external actors, such as China, the US and Russia, and geopolitical interests have on regional dynamics. This book focuses on the national securities of a number of South Asian countries in order to discuss a range of issues related to South Asian security. The book makes a distinction between traditional and non-traditional security. While state-centric approaches such as bilateral relations between India and Pakistan are considered to be traditional realist approaches to security, the promotion of economic, environmental and human security reflect global concerns, liberal theories and cosmopolitan values. The book goes beyond traditional security issues to reflect the changing security agenda in South Asia in the twenty-first century, and is a useful contribution to studies on South Asian Politics and Security Studies.
Identities, Interests and Challenges to State Authority
Author: Jugdep S. Chima
Category: Social Science
This book provides a micro-historical analysis of the emergence and contemporary dynamics of recent ethnic sub-nationalist insurgencies in South Asia. Using comparative case studies, it discusses the causes of each insurgency, analyses the trajectory and dynamics of each including attempts at resolution, and highlights the wider theories of ethno-nationalist insurgency and mobilization. Bringing together an international group of contributors, the book covers insurgencies in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It questions why ethnic sub-nationalist insurgencies occurred at particular points in time and not at others, and explores the comparative trajectories of these movements. The book goes on to discern reappearing patterns of conflict escalation/de-escalation through the method of comparative process-tracing. It argues that while identity is a necessary factor for insurgency, it is not a sufficient one. Instead, ethnic mobilization and insurgency only emerge when it is activated by tension emerging from political competition between ethnic and central state elites. These elite-led dynamics, when combined with favourable socio-economic and political conditions, make the ethnic masses primed to accept the often symbolically-rich appeals from their leaders to mobilize against the central state. Providing an important study on ethno-nationalist insurgencies in South Asia, the book will be of interest to those working in the fields of South Asian Politics, Security Studies and Ethnic Conflict.
Offering a comparative case study of transitional justice processes in Afghanistan and Nepal, this book critically evaluates the way the "local" is consulted in post-conflict efforts toward peace and reconciliation. It argues that there is a tendency in transitional justice efforts to contain the discussion of the "local" within religious and cultural parameters, thus engaging only with a "static local," as interpreted by certain local stakeholders. Based on data collected through interviews and participant observation carried out in the civil societies of the respective countries, this book brings attention to a "dynamic local," where societal norms evolve, and realities on the ground are shaped by shifting power dynamics, local hierarchies, and inequalities between actors. It suggests that the "local" must be understood as an inter-subjective concept, the meaning of which is not only an evolving and moving target, but also dependent on who is consulted to interpret it to external actors. This timely book engages with the divergent range of civil society voices and offers ways to move forward by including their concerns in the efforts to help impoverished war-torn societies transition from a state of war to the conditions of peace.
The Muslim shrine is at the crossroad of many processes involving society and culture. It is the place where a saint – often a Sufi - is buried, and it works as a main social factor, with the power of integrating or rejecting people and groups, and as a mirror reflecting the intricacies of a society. The book discusses the role of popular Islam in structuring individual and collective identities in contemporary South Asia. It identifies similarities and differences between the worship of saints and the pattern of religious attendance to tombs and mausoleums in South Asian Sufism and Shi`ism. Inspired by new advances in the field of ritual and pilgrimage studies, the book demonstrates that religious gatherings are spaces of negotiation and redefinitions of religious identity and of the notion of sainthood. Drawing from a large corpus of vernacular and colonial sources, as well as the register of popular literature and ethnographic observation, the authors describe how religious identities are co-constructed through the management of rituals, and are constantly renegotiated through discourses and religious practices. By enabling students, researchers and academics to critically understand the complexity of religious places within the world of popular and devotional Islam, this geographical re-mapping of Muslim religious gatherings in contemporary South Asia contributes to a new understanding of South Asian and Islamic Studies.
Recently, mass arsenic poisoning of groundwater has emerged as a disastrous public health concern in Bangladesh. Apart from hundreds of deaths that have already been reported, 85 million people are estimated to be at high risk of developing deadly arsenicosis symptoms. The severity and extent of arsenicosis have obliged the government of Bangladesh to declare it the "worst national disaster" the country has ever faced, and further to be deemed a "state of emergency." To fight this pervasive public health disaster, the Bangladesh government has collaborated with the international and national NGOs to implement development projects to provide arsenic-free water to rural villagers. Drawing upon ethnographic research in rural Southwestern Bangladesh, this book discusses arsenic contamination and its resultant health impact from a medical anthropological and anthropology of development perspectives. It examines how the actual patients perceive, explain, manage and respond to this catastrophic public health outbreak, and goes on to analyse how such lay perceptions shape health-seeking behaviour of subjects in a medically plural context. To make the issue more holistic, this book further examines mitigation strategies and community participation in these projects. Challenging approaches to development and development project management, the book is of interest to policy makers, practitioners and academics working in the field of development studies, South Asian studies, medical anthropology, anthropology and sociology of development.
In migration studies, the nexus between migration and development in the global South has been meticulously debated. However, a unanimous resolution to this debate has not been found, due to the ever-changing nature of international migration. This book advances knowledge on the global debate on the migration-development relationship by documenting experiences in a number of countries in South Asia. Drawing on the experiences of global South Asians, this volume documents the impact of migration on the social, economic, and political fields in the broader context of development. It also presents a regional experience by looking into the migration-development nexus in the context of South Asia, and analyses the role South Asian migrants and diaspora communities play in the South Asian society. Contributions from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including sociology, anthropology, political science, international relations and economics, document the development implications of South Asian migration. Broad in scope in terms of contents, timeline of migration, and geographical coverage, the book presents empirically-based case studies involving India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal and their emigrants living and working in different parts of the world. Going beyond reporting the impacts of migration on economic development by highlighting the implications of ‘social development’ on society, this book provides a fascinating contribution to the fields of Asian Development, Migration Studies and South Asian Studies.