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Democracy and violent separatism in India: Kashmir in a comparative perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
1997 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation investigates the factors that led to the breakdown of democracyand the rise of violent separatism in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1980s. Usingnew empirical material collected mainly in India and Pakistan, it is argued thatit is a mistake to see an ethnic factor as the main cause of the conflict in Jammuand Kashmir. Furthermore, although poor socioeconomic conditions may havefuelled discontent, the conflict cannot be explained by such factors alone.Instead, the emergence of incompatible identities should be regarded as anoutcome of a preceding and distinctly political conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. It is argued that the conflict, which later escalated into a small-scale civil war, originated as disputes between elites in Jammu and Kashmir and the central government over power in a weak institutional setting.

The emphasis in the analysis is therefore placed on the development of political institutions and the decisions made by the political elite in Jammu andKashmir and New Delhi during the crucial period 1975 to 1989. Nevertheless,a historical background to the conflict is included in the analysis; it traces theorigins of the party segmentation, which has continued until today. The impactof Pakistani intervention in the conflict is also discussed.

Finally, the factors found decisive in producing violent separatism inJammu and Kashmir are illustrated by a comparative analysis of two Indianstates that have managed integration better, namely Tamil Nadu and WestBengal. An examination of how large-scale violent separatism was avoided inTamil Nadu in the 1950s and 1960s reveals clearly what went wrong in Jammuand Kashmir in the 1980s. We could also have expected Bengali separatism along time ago if we applied the logic of theories on ethnicity. But in spite of itsdistinctive character and political turmoil this state has, like Tamil Nadu,remained and become more closely integrated in the Union.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1997. , 197 p.
Keyword [en]
Political science, Violent Separatism, Democracy, Ethnicity, Nationalism, India, Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-701ISBN: 91-628-2489-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-701DiVA: diva2:168594
Public defence
1997-06-02, Brusewitzsalen, Gamla torget 2, Uppsala, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 1997-05-12 Created: 1997-05-12 Last updated: 2010-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Widmalm, Sten
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