South Asian nationalisms

Frank J. Korom, Jan Magnusson

Research output: Contribution to journalDebate/Note/Editorial


This article intends to raise questions related to nationalism in South Asia, while also addressing the rationale for this special issue. Is nationalism a monolithic construct based on a European precedent or is it something much larger that is developed pluralistically in a variety of contexts around the world? If the latter is true, which is our position, then how do we go about studying the various versions of global nationalism? We argue that good comparison is based on both similarity and difference. To make a case for multiple versions of nationalism, the articles included herein focus on the Indian Subcontinent. Each article looks at a particular country belonging to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the intergovernmental group representing the geopolitical union of states in South Asia, which was founded in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1985. The overall purpose of this collection of articles is to highlight the varieties of nationalism found in the region, with the goal of interrogating the idea of a singular form of nationalism inherited by postcolonial societies from their European colonizers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalAsian Ethnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
law, literary studies, political science, religious studies, and sociology to present their own musings on particular SAARC countries. We especially wanted to include countries that often get overlooked at South Asia conferences, such as the Republic of Maldives and the Kingdom of Bhutan, in order to get a better overall perspective on nationalism in the region. With generous financial support from the Crafoord Foundation and logistical assistance from the Swedish South Asian Network (SASNET), the participants in our workshop gathered in Lund for two days of presentations and discussions to see what sorts of similarities and differences would emerge when viewing nationalism from a number of geographical and ethnic vantage points around the Subcontinent. The articles included herein are the result of that gathering.

Publisher Copyright:
© Nanzan University Anthropological Institute.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Globalization Studies


  • Hyphenation
  • Nation states
  • Nationalism
  • Religion
  • South Asia
  • Vernacularization


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