Prof. Ranabir Samaddar from India

is giving a lecture series


Politics of Dialogue – War and Peace in South Asia

This is a short course on different forms of wars in South Asia, and amidst these wars the ways in which the politics of peace is carried out in various forms in the region, mediating these wars - at times bringing them to a close, at times continuing these wars in new forms. The course therefore discusses also the role of dialogue that marks the histories of war and peace in the region. The discussions are grounded in two overriding scenarios: (a) the background of decolonisation, emergence of strong majoritarian states, and specific developmental policies, (b) the context of globalisation and the spread of militarism.

The course discusses through few case studies wars of different types – national or inter-state wars, civil wars, resource wars, proxy wars, etc. It also brings into discussion the impact of these wars on the polities of the region. It raises human rights and humanitarian issues as issues of justice in the context of these wars. It also shows how militarism and patriarchy combine in reproducing war like situations, and making the war-peace continuum.

It is in this overwhelming context of wars in South Asia that the course introduces the notion of critical peace studies and discusses peace politics from a critical perspective. Various peace accords and peace processes are discussed. Cease-fire situations are analysed as no war - no peace situations. The asymmetries of the dialogic situations are examined. The course highlights the need for a critical perspective in order to understand how the principles of dialogue can be remoulded in order to address issues of accommodation and reconciliation.

In the current context of terror, the so-called war on terrorism, and the deaths, the course highlights above all the question of responsibility and justice.

The course will be made up of ten (10) lectures, each of two hours duration.

Themes of Lectures:

1. Introducing the Course: Histories of war and peace in South Asia, structural elements in war and peace situations, globalisation and its impact
2. Decolonisation, nation-states and wars in the region: Kashmir wars, LOC, nuclearisation, 1971, low intensity wars, partition wars
3. Civil wars, national security states, war policies in peace situations, the war-peace continuum
4. Other wars: resource wars, developmentalism and war, communal wars, race wars
5. Study of cease-fires: Northeast, Sri Lanka, Nepal
6. Peace Accords and peace processes: Politics of accords, some case studies
7. War and humanitarian crisis: Human Rights, humanitarianism and peace
8. Terror: War against terrorism and peace politics
9. Patriarchy, militarism and majoritarian states: Women, war and peace in South Asia
10. Dialogic forms of politics: Principles of dialogue, constitutionalism and conflict resolution


For more information, please contact Prof. Jyrki Käkönen, e-mail