DURABLE DISORDER - Understanding the Politics of Northeast India

DURABLE DISORDER - Understanding the Politics of Northeast IndiaSanjib Barua’s newest book Durable Disorder: Understanding the Politics of Northeast India was recently published by Oxford University Press, New Delhi. This book analyzes the causes of ethnic conflicts insurgencies in Northeast India and seeks to understand the meaning and significance of persisting political violence. The author argues that prolonged counter-insurgency operations have eroded the democratic fabric of the region and institutionalized authoritarian practices. There is a growing dissonance between the idea of ethnic homelands and the actually existing political economy of the region that makes ethnic violence predictable.

The book explores the economic incorporation of the region into the global capitalist economy in the 19th century and the resultant conflict between global and local resource use regimes. The author argues for a reorientation of India’s policy towards the Northeast and for linking it to a new foreign policy towards Southeast Asia.

Sanjib Baruah is Senior Fellow, Omeo Kumar Das Institute for Social Change and Development, Guwahati, Assam, and Professor of Political Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

‘Sanjib Baruah’s Durable Disorder explains politics in India’s Northeast with brilliant clarity, using history, theory, journalism, personal experience, and participant insight to the full.’ says David Ludden, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

‘Sanjib Baruah’s new book raises the discussion about the Northeast to an altogether higher plane, it brings current debates in political thought to bear upon our understanding of the region in a way that has not been done before.’ says Mrinal Miri, Vice Chancellor, NorthEastern Hill University, Shillong

‘Durable Disorder opens new perspectives in our understanding of federalism, the linkage between domestic and foreign policies, ethnic conflict and the meaning of democracy.’ says Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, President, American Political Science Association 2003-04.

In an email interview with the ASA Newsletter, Dr. Baruah said “I am amazed by how much needs to be done at the intellectual level. Indian discussions of the Northeast have become completely dominated by the security wallahs. I hope my book manages to change that a little bit and open up a discussion on the effects on the quality of democracy etc.”

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