Politics, Citizenship and Democracy in South Asia


South Asian countries will commemorate the 75th anniversary of their Independence from Britain next year. India and Pakistan will observe their 75th anniversary  in August 2022. Myanmar and Sri Lanka will commemorate theirs respectively in January and February 2023. The region is also currently observing the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. Despite profound transformations in the societies, economies and polities of these countries since their independence, the legacy of the troubled circumstances of their independence continues to haunt their contemporary politics. Important questions of citizenship and democracy remain unresolved, partly due to the endurance of colonial practices of governance and partly due to emerging forms of governance fashioned by postcolonial governments.  The commemorations offer an appropriate opportunity for a reflection on politics, citizenship and democracy in this geopolitically, economically and ecologically fragile region that is home to 1.5 billion people- a fifth of humanity.

In this vein, the Department of Politics at the University of York will co-convene with the South Asia Centre of the Atlantic Council and the Asia-Pacific Programme of the Chatham House. The University of York leads a consortium of researchers investigating the ongoing re-imaginations of citizenship in India. In many of the episodes, we will be joined by our colleagues from the Asia Pacific Programme of the Chatham House and the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council. The seminars will bring together academics, journalists, policy-makers and civil society in a focused conversation on a specific theme that will illuminate themes of politics, citizenship and democracy in South Asia.



Dr. Indrajit Roy, University of York

Dr. Rudabeh Shahid, Atlantic Council

Dr. Champa Patel, Chatham House

Dr. Buddhadeb Halder, University of York


Seminar 1: Elections in eastern India and their regional resonances (Date: 14/05/2021)