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Unit information: Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in South Asia in 2021/22

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Unit name Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in South Asia
Unit code POLI20009
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Wyatt
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce students to the politics of modern South Asia. The unit will focus on the politics of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The unit will provide a broad overview of politics in this region beginning with a survey of the colonial period of state formation, early nation building and the uneven consolidation of political institutions. The unit will examine a number of conflicts that have complicated the process of national building. These include the 1947 partition of India, the divide between West and East Pakistan, the confilict over Kashmir and the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.


  • To introduce students to the political history of South Asia
  • To introduce students to key texts on South Asian politics
  • To demonstrate the challenge of post-colonial state formation
  • To develop a critical and comparative understanding of contemporary South Asian politics.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this unit students will:

  1. demonstrate familiarity with the political development of the states of South Asia
  2. be familiar with the broad sweep of literature on the politics of South Asia
  3. be able to integrate empirical evidence into persuasive arguments and articulate these in seminars and oral presentations
  4. be able to integrate empirical evidence into comparative arguments sustained in a substantial piece of written work
  5. be able to critically assess the place of nationalism in the politics of the region
  6. be able to explain the success and failure of ethnic conflict management among the states of South Asia

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

2,000 word essay 1 (25%) 2,000 word essay 2 (75%)

Both assessments test all learning outcomes listed.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLI20009).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.