Elective: Regional Politics of South Asia - year 2

Course description Elective: Regional Politics of South Asia - year 2
Year: 2017-2018
Catalog number: 5182KEL42
Teacher(s):
  • Dr. V. Thakur
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 10
Level: 300
Period: Semester 2, Block III, IV
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

This course offers to give students a comprehensive introduction to South Asia and its intra-regional relations. The inter-governmental regional organisation, SAARC, identifies eight states as part of the region: Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Understandably, the course readings will not be able to cover all these states equally, but they will help students to understand broadly the major themes and issues that confront the region. We will cover topics such as the centrality of Partition to the making of the region, non-alignment and its manifestations, inter-state rivalries, and military and nuclear security issues. Moving beyond the two major states in the region, India and Pakistan, we will discuss the security dynamics of smaller states in the region, especially the criticality of human and climate security concerns to South Asia’s future. We will map intra-state conflicts in the region and understand the challenges facing states and societies in South Asia. Focusing on India as the regional hegemon, the course will also examine the role that the region plays in India’s great power aspirations and discuss how new regional ideas such as the Indian Ocean region and Indo-Pacific have influenced the cartography of regional engagements.

Additionally, the students will work through:

  • W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:

1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:

1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:

1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:

1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Seminars are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. This course includes supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours
  • Studying the compulsory literature and completing weekly assignments: 96 hours
  • Preparation for presentations: 26 hours
  • Researching and writing the final research essay: 134 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
In-class Participation 10%
In-class Presentation 10%
Two Assignments: Critical Reviews (1.500 words) 30%
Final Research Essay (5,000 words) 50%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Resit

Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.
In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 working days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

Core Text:

  • Bhumitra Chakma (ed.) South Asia in Transition: Democracy, Politics Economy and Security, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

Some key readings for this course are:

  • Neil De Votta, An Introduction to South Asian Politics, Routledge, 2015.
  • E. Sridharan (ed), International Relations Theory and South Asia: Security, Political Economy, Domestic Politics, Identities and Images, Vol. I&II, Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Kanti P. Bajpai and Siddharth Mallavarapu (eds.), International Relations in India: Bringing Theory Back Home, New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2005.
  • Baldev Raj Nayar and T.V. Paul, India in the World Order: Searching for Major Power Status, New Delhi: Foundation Books, 2004.
  • Sankaran Krishna, Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka, and the Question of Nationhood, Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 1999.
  • David Malone, C. Raja Mohan and Srinath Raghavan, The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Ayesha Jalal, The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics, Harvard University Press, 2014.
  • Sumantra Bose, Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace: Paths to Peace, Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • Paul Stalinand, Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse, Cornell University Press, 2015.

Note: It is recommended, not essential, that students familiarize themselves with some of the literature cited above.

The following book will also be used:

  • W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. V. Thakur (Vineet)

When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.

Remarks

The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.
Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar.

Languages