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Contemporary Politics of South Asia - POL00055H

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Indrajit Roy
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Home to nearly 1.5 billion, South Asia - comprising India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan (and sometimes Myanmar) - has often been said to be the graveyard of universal theories of democracy and authoritarianism; ethnicity and nationalism; and poverty and economic growth. This module will aim to introduce students to themes and approaches to the study of the contemporary politics of the region, taking care to present not only the ‘events’ as they have unfolded in the region since the end-1940s, but more importantly the ways in which those events have been analysed and interpreted.

Module learning outcomes

By completing this module, students will:

  • Describe and interpret the key political events in South Asian politics;
  • Analyse and differentiate different approaches to the study of South Asian politics, especially Modernisation, Marxist and post-colonialist approaches to South Asian politics;
  • Appraise, justify and interrogate particular uses of concepts from our discipline, such as authoritarianism, democracy, ethnicity, nationalism, clientelism, neoliberalism, development.

This module will also equip students with a range of key transferable skills:

  • State of the art in understanding of South Asian politics;
  • Verbal and written argumentation;
  • Interpretation of scholarly texts and arguments;
  • Critical appraisal of concepts.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 20 working days after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Sugato Bose and Ayesha Jalal (1996) Modern South Asia.

Paul Brass (ed) Handbook of South Asian Politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.