Government and Politics in South Asia

By Craig Baxter; Yogendra K. Malik et al. | Go to book overview

Both the culture and the political system have much to do with the degree of autonomy with which the nongovernmental structures in the system operate. India and Sri Lanka, though generally open polities (e.g., the press in both countries has usually, but not always, been free), have undergone periods of limitation of autonomy. 2

Each of the states of South Asia faces five critical areas of political development: nation building, state building, participation, economy building, and distribution. Although India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka inherited fairly effective state apparatuses, they are facing difficult challenges in the process of building unified nations. These challenges include the problems pertaining to the Sikhs and the Kashmiris in India, the Sindhis in Pakistan, and the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Economy building is, of course, another difficult challenge for the Third World nations, and those of South Asia are no exception. Periodic and free elections, an important form of participation in India and Sri Lanka, have not been regularly available to the people of the other states. Finally, the distribution of resources in each of the nations is badly skewed, and the steps being taken to remedy this problem vary among the seven countries.

In the chapters that follow, we shall look first at the political heritage of the British past (Chapter 1) and then at each of the countries of South Asia. The four largest countries are dealt with in Parts 1 through 4: Part 1, India; Part 2, Pakistan; Part 3, Bangladesh; and Part 4, Sri Lanka, The three smallest countries--Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives--are considered together in Chapter 25. Chapter 26 addresses the interrelationships among the seven states in the region and the roles they play in the international system. Finally, the Conclusion ties the threads together in a discussion of the political development of the region as a whole.


Notes
1.
Data in this introduction are taken from World Bank, World Development Report, 1997 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), and United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report, 1997 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).
2.
The concepts used in this paragraph and the following two are developed from Gabriel A. Almond and G. Bingham Powell Jr., Comparative Politics: A Theoretical Framework ( New York: HarperCollins, 1996).

-4-

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Government and Politics in South Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations ix
  • Preface to the Fourth Edition xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Governance of South Asia Under the British 5
  • Suggested Readings 18
  • Part One - INDIA 19
  • 2 - Political Culture and Heritage 21
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • 3 - Political Institutions and Governmental Processes 55
  • Suggested Readings 90
  • 4 - Political Parties and Political Leaders 92
  • Suggested Readings 120
  • 5 - Groups and Multiple Demands on the System 122
  • Suggested Readings 139
  • 6 - Conflict Mediation 140
  • Suggested Readings 150
  • 7 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 151
  • Suggested Readings 159
  • Part Two - PAKISTAN 161
  • 8 - Political Culture and Heritage 163
  • Suggested Readings 174
  • 9 - Government Structure 175
  • Suggested Readings 183
  • 10 - Political Parties and Political Leaders 184
  • Suggested Readings 200
  • 11 - Conflict and Mediation 202
  • Suggested Readings 212
  • 12 - Policy Issues 213
  • Suggested Readings 223
  • 13: Modernization and Development 224
  • Part Three - BANGLADESH 231
  • 14 - Political Culture and Heritage 233
  • Suggested Readings 246
  • 15 - Government Institutions 247
  • Suggested Readings 257
  • 16 - Elections, Parties, and Interest Groups 259
  • Suggested Readings 279
  • 17 - Conflicts and Resolution 281
  • Suggested Readings 291
  • 18 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 292
  • Suggested Readings 299
  • Part Four - SRI LANKA 301
  • 19: Political Culture and Heritage 303
  • 20: Government Structure 316
  • 21: Political Parties and Interest Groups 331
  • 22: Conflict Mediation 346
  • 23: The Search for Prosperity 352
  • 24 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 358
  • Suggested Readings 362
  • Part Five - SOUTH ASIA 365
  • 25 - Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives 367
  • Suggested Readings 381
  • 26 - South Asia as a Region and in the World System 382
  • Suggested Readings 402
  • 27 - Conclusion: Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia 404
  • Suggested Readings 411
  • Statistical Appendix 413
  • Index 415
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