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South Asian Political Culture

We investigate South Asian political culture by investigating values, concepts, meanings and symbols of power, authority and status.

South Asia is characterised by a myriad of political expressions. This can be seen in the many and often conflicting norms that apply in the selection of leaders, from village up to national level. Or in how institutions such as political parties or representative elections are conceptualised differently by different groups.

A fruitful approach is to understand South Asian political culture as a composite result of several important influences. Above all, it is formed in the interface of political institutions inspired by Europe and of South Asian notions of authority, leadership and legitimacy.

South Asian political culture should be understood as the sum total of the historically formed rules, conceptions and norms that inform political life in contemporary South Asia.

Research keywords

  • democracy, political participation
  • criminal authority, mafia and godfathers
  • political dynasties, dynasticism
  • populism
  • caste and political participation
  • social movements, land rights

Front page of a magazine. It says: Land dispossesion and everydag politics in rural eastern India. Illustration.  Front page of a magazine. It says: Mafia Ray. Illustration.  Front page of a magazine. It says: Outrage. Illustration.

Front page of a magazine. It says: South Asian Sovereignty. Illustration.  Front page of a magazine. It says: Indian Democracy. Illustration.  ​​​​​​​​​​​​Front of a magazine. It says in Norwegian: Demokrati på indisk. Illustration.

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Published Apr. 3, 2017 1:27 PM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2020 2:37 PM