Since decolonization began in the late 1940s, a series of often lengthy and destructive separatist insurgencies have imposed severe financial, economic and human costs upon the states of South Asia. Whereas previous analyses of these conflicts have typically focussed upon the parent state or separatist group as the relevant unit of analysis, this book adopts a broader framework, arguing that separatism cannot be understood in isolation from the concept of state sovereignty. This book explores the motives, tactics, successes and failures of South Asia's separatist movements by deconstructing sovereignty into its constituent components and offers an explanation for why separatism, but not political violence, has recently declined in the region. Taking a comparative explanatory viewpoint, it offers a comprehensive review of relevant explanatory theories dominant in the scholarly literature on separatism and an examination of their application to the South Asian states of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.As a thought-provoking discussion of statehood and sovereignty, this book will be of interest to students of political theory, comparative politics, international relations and South Asian politics.
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