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Lecture | Modern South Asia Seminars

Explaining the Origins of the Kashmir Insurgency: Political Mobilization and Institutional Decay

  • Professor Sumit Ganguly
Wednesday 6 June 2018
Modern South Asia Seminars
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden


Professor Sumit Ganguly traces the origins of the insurgency that has wracked the Indian-controlled portion of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. Professor Ganguly's central argument is that the insurgency can be explained by the interlinked processes of political mobilisation and institutional decay. In an attempt to woo the citizens of India's only Muslim-majority state, the national government dramatically helped expand literacy, mass media, and higher education in Jammu and Kashmir. These processes produced a generation of Kashmiris who were politically knowledgeable and sophisticated. Simultaneously, the national government in New Delhi, fearful of potential secessionist proclivities amongst the Kashmiris, systematically stultified the development of political institutions in the state. Unable to express dissent in an institutional context, this new generation of Kashmiris resorted to violence.

About Professor Ganguly

Sumit Ganguly is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations. He has previously taught at James Madison College of Michigan State University, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the University of Texas at Austin. A specialist on the contemporary politics of South Asia is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 20 books on the region. His most recent books are the Oxford Short Introduction to Indian Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 2015), Deadly Impasse: Indo-Pakistani Relations at the Dawn of a New Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016), (with William R. Thompson), Ascending India and Its State Capacity (Yale University Press, 2017) and the co-editor (with Nicolas Blarel and Manjeet Pardesi) of The Oxford Handbook of India’s National Security (Oxford University Press, 2018) He is currently at work on a book that focuses on the origins and evolution of India’s defense policy for Columbia University Press.

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