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Separatist Violence in South Asia : A Comparative Study (Hardcover) (Matthew J. Webb)
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This book explains why South Asia has experienced so many secessionist movements since decolonization began in the late 1940s, even though only one violent struggle has been successful: the creation of Bangladesh.
Using a comparative analytical framework, and including secessionist movements from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the book examines why nation-building projects in these states have failed to successfully integrate sub-national communities whose attempts to create an alternative political community have significantly impeded economic growth in the region.
The book argues that, while secessionism in South Asia has been commonplace – frequently with widespread and destructive consequences – it has been an avoidable feature of the region’s political landscape. The same features of national distinctiveness, firebrand leadership, poverty, discrimination, central interference and neglect have characterized other regions in these states that have not been afflicted by secessionism. Rather, the key feature has been the inability of the government to effectively manage the intersection of these features to prevent secessionist tendencies gaining traction.
Addressing the major movements in South Asia from a comparative explanatory viewpoint, the book also offers a comprehensive review of relevant explanatory theories dominant in the scholarly literature on secession and an examination of their application to South Asia. A thought-provoking discussion of statehood and sovereignty, the book will be of interest to students of political theory, comparative politics, international relations and South Asian politics.