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Instructor Class Description

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Sunila S. Kale
POL S 340
Seattle Campus

Government and Politics of South Asia

Comparison of problems of national integration and political development in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 340.

Class description

This undergraduate course focuses on political, social, and economic change and continuity in five countries of South Asia—India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The post-independence politics of these countries capture the myriad dilemmas and promises of postcolonial states. This makes the region an ideal context in which to ask significant questions about state-formation and development, economic growth and transitions to the market, the role of civil society, and the nature of conflict, both within and between countries. We begin the course with an introduction to South Asia and the late colonial period to understand the historical roots of the political regimes of modern South Asia. The next section focuses on the relationships of religious, ethnic, and caste identities to state-building and conflict in the region. In the last third of the course, on political economy, we concentrate on development patterns, contemporary economic liberalization, and the role of civil society. Course meetings are a mix of lectures and discussions; writing requirements include weekly statements about the readings and a final essay.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Sunila S. Kale
Date: 03/09/2009