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The University of Southampton
The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development

Centre for Democratic Futures Webinar - Democracy in 21st century South Asia Event

15:30 - 17:00
6 March 2023
Presented via Zoom

Event details

August 2022 marked 75 years of independent rule for India and Pakistan. Both countries feature lively democratic politics in the face of challenges posed by poverty, human rights issues, ecological crisis and diversity across multiple planes. Shifting conceptions of nationhood, migration and the struggle for group rights have come to shape formal and substantive citizenship for marginalised sections of society in India and Pakistan. What can the history of democracy in these two nations tell us about the trajectories of democratic systems in the 20th and 21st centuries?

In this webinar the speakers provide an overview of the trajectory of democracy in each country over the last 75 years, discuss the macro enabling and disabling forces for democracy, reflect on how the specific forms of contemporary democracy in each country condition, shape and intonate forms of civic citizenship, subjectivity and ways of living, and share thoughts on the possibilities of democratic resistance. The speakers are:

Speaker information

Professor Niraja Gopal Jayal, Avantha Chair, King’s College London India Institute and Centennial Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at the London School of Economics. Her research focuses on citizenship, democracy and welfare in India. Her book Citizenship and its Discontents (Harvard University Press and Permanent Black, 2013) won the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association of Asian Studies in 2015. She is also the author of Representing India: Ethnic Diversity and the Governance of Public Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Democracy and the State: Welfare, Secularism and Development in Contemporary India (OUP, 1999). She has co-edited The Oxford Companion to Politics in India, and edited Democracy in India (OUP, 2001) and Re-Forming India: The Nation Today (Penguin Random House, 2019).Her most recent book is Citizenship Imperilled: India’s Fragile Democracy (Permanent Black, 2019).

Dr Aqil Shah, Wick Cary Associate Professor of South Asian Politics in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and a visiting scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on democratic transitions, military coups, civil-military relations, and security issues with a regional focus on South Asia. He is author of The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan (Harvard University Press, 2014).

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