How India Became Territorial. International Recognition and Its Political Implications. – a seminar by Assoc Prof Itty Abraham (Mon, 23 May 2011)

Speaker: Assoc Prof Itty Abraham (University of Texas at Austin)
Date: Monday, 23 May 2011
Time: 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
This paper explores the structural contradictions of Indian foreign policy at the moment of independence. Although Indians constituted a nation spread all over the globe and India was a contested and fragmented political space, the independent country chose to adopt the model of the territorial nation‐state, as did other Asian postcolonial countries. The adoption of territoriality is explained by the imperative of international recognition, drawing on Frantz Fanon’s discussion of master‐slave relations in colonial societies. The political implications of territoriality include an explanation of the ‘two faces’ of Indian foreign policy, why Pakistan will always be a problem, why the diaspora had to be jettisoned, and the formation of a two‐tier model of citizenship.

About the speaker
Itty Abraham is Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and former director of the UT South Asia Institute. He has held appointments at the East‐West Center Washington, George Washington University, and, Stanford University. He was program director for South Asia, Southeast Asia, and, Global Security and Cooperation at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) from 1992‐2005. His areas of expertise include international relations, and, science and technology studies. He is the author of The Making of the Indian Atomic Bomb: Science, Secrecy and the Postcolonial State, editor of the South Asian Cultures of the Bomb: Atomic Publics and the State in India and Pakistan, co‐editor of Illicit Flows and Criminal Things: States, Borders and the other side of Globalization, and, Political Violence in South and Southeast Asia, as well as numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and, research reports.