Building Democracy in South Asia: India, Nepal, Pakistan / Maya Chadda

Building Democracy in South Asia: India, Nepal, Pakistan / Maya Chadda

Building Democracy in South Asia: India, Nepal, Pakistan / Maya Chadda

Building Democracy in South Asia: India, Nepal, Pakistan / Maya Chadda

Synopsis

This analysis of South Asia's political experience with democracy in the 1990s assumes that, if democratic norms are to be universalized, they must first absorb the interpretations and experiences of the non-Western countries.

Excerpt

A stream of new books on transitology—theories about transition from authoritarianism to democracy—now crowd the shelves of libraries and bookstores. A careful search through these, however, yields only a few volumes on how South Asia fits into the current international debate about third wave democracies. This book is written in the hope of filling this gap and providing an alternative set of propositions about the impact of poverty, violence, and inequality on democracy. I conclude that these factors need not constrain South Asia's transition to democracy, although they can slow its consolidation, as in India and Nepal, or interrupt its consolidation, as in Pakistan. I also argue that the current discourse fails to assess the relationship between society and state realistically and is wrong therefore about the role of conflict and violence in South Asia.

I had three purposes in writing this book. The first was simply to survey recent political developments in South Asia. Although the region consists of seven countries, a thematic discussion of developments in three of them—India, Nepal, and Pakistan—can be useful to those interested in post–Cold War South Asia. My second purpose was to link developments in South Asia to the broader debate about third wave democracies. And my third purpose was to argue that South Asia's experience offers yet another route to progressive democratization in territorially and politically unconsolidated countries, one that is relevant to transformations elsewhere in the world.

In the course of researching this book I came to realize that the story of democratization had two parts and no single part told the whole—that the part about poverty, political instability, and underdevelopment had been told again and again, while other changes had been ignored or discounted. I have chosen to emphasize the latter to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.