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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Virginia Vandyke
POL S 434
Seattle Campus

International Relations of South Asia

Interrelationships of domestic, interstate, and extraregional forces and their effects upon the resolution or expansion of interstate conflicts in South Asia. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 434.

Class description

Description: Is South Asia "the most dangerous place on earth" as suggested by former President Bill Clinton? Since 1947, five wars have taken place in the sub-continent and tensions persist, involving primarily India and Pakistan, but also China and Bangladesh. The recent clash between India and Pakistan was one of the few times that two nuclear-armed states engaged in direct armed conflict, which illustrates both the volatility and fluidity of the current situation in the region and the potential impact outside the region. New developments include an on-going political readjustment in response to the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union from active influence in the region, economic globalization and liberalization, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan, and the attempted incorporation of Pakistan, which some see as potentially a "failed state," in the United State's "War on Terror."

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course will examine bi-lateral relations among countries in South Asia, as well as South Asia's relationship with the larger international system. We will focus on the foreign policies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and discuss in-depth specific conflicts such as the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the border war between India and China, Indian intervention in Sri Lanka, etc. Differing perspectives on the issue of nuclear proliferation in South Asia will also be covered.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Students in this course will be expected to keep up on the news from South Asia, on the reading assignments, and to participate actively in the class. The goal will be to create an interactive classroom environment rather than one of passive learning. Grades will be broken down as listed below.

Grading: Course requirements will include a mid-term, a research paper, and a final. Students will also be expected to keep up on the current developments in the region.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 02/24/2005