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Framing South Asian transformation: An examination of regional views on South Asian co-operation with special reference to development and security perspectives in India and Shri Lanka

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:04 authored by Naren Chitty

South Asia, centered on India and anchored in age-old tradition, is being drawn by the Euro-American global center toward modernization. The process of modernization promises social mobility to aspirants to elite status who have been shut out by the tradition of caste. Despite their liberal instincts and the espousal of a program of 'modernization' by ruling elites, elite aspirants find themselves culturally excluded from elite circles of power. At the same time these elite aspirants draw succor from and give succor to ethno-historical constituencies which are in the process of peripheralization by global and national centers. SAARC, the South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation, is a creation of South Asian governing elites in response to internal pressures for regional development as well as changes in the global environment. South Asian elites respond to contradictory voices of liberalism and tradition when dealing with social change within their own societies and this study posits that this contradiction may be seen in the views of South Asian scholars. The study looks at contributions of regional scholars on co-operation in security and development in the region in terms of a framework, Ashoka's Wheel, constructed from classical Hindu political and mythic thought and Western political thought. It also looks comparatively at official news in the two South Asian countries on which the study concentrates--India and Shri Lanka to establish whether political messages demonstrate the same contradiction.



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Ph.D. American University 1992.


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