ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Empire Meets Globalisation

Recent decades of globalisation provide a new starting point for the study of south Asia by highlighting critical human issues that force history into the present and generate new productive conversations between history and social science. One fundamental issue is the increasing inequality in wealth and control over human resources, globally and in south Asia. Economic policy regimes in the contemporary world resemble those of laissez-faire imperalism of a century ago more than national state planning regimes that prevailed from the 1950s into the 1980s. It is argued that the long histories of imperial modernity have organised the world of capitalism in which nationalism has carried the inequity of empire into the heart and soul of south Asia.

The Politics of Independence in Bangladesh

Historians still do not have all the records they need to fully understand the freedom struggle of Bangladesh and offer a proper appreciation of the role of all the participants. Political parties remain justifiably attached to their founders; partisans attached to India and Pakistan also have their memories, points of view and all merit attention. To recover the deeper history of independence, however, scholars need to study its popular dimensions, and, in that light, it is most obvious that radical student leaders and countless lesser lights in the people's struggle for independence still do not have the place in history they deserve.

Economic History without Politics

Company of Kinsmen: Enterprise and Community in South Asian History, 1700-1940 by Tirthankar Roy.

Shifting Focus to the East

Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century by Giovanni Arrighi;

Development Regimes in South Asia

A new imperial formation is emerging and globalisation today has much in common with globalisation a century ago. Then there was British Empire, now there is US Empire. In global development discourse, each national state governs its economy, and each 'developing economy' is developing itself, in a global context, but in south Asia and elsewhere, national development regimes can also be understood realistically as officially but not operationally independent territories in a global development regime. Who is leading development, who is benefiting, and where today's trends are moving remain debatable. It is more accurate to say that development has entered a confusing phase of flux and uncertainty.

America's Invisible Empire

The American imperial empire has remained largely invisible: only very recently have Americans just begun to learn about their imperial history. But information about empire is fragmented and extensively filtered and the American public remains by and large unaware of the reality and costs of empire. Until empire is placed on the public agenda, it can never be effectively criticised or made an object of basic policy change.

Investing in Nature around Sylhet

Geographical histories around the region of Sylhet, in north-east Bangladesh, indicate that transactions between mobility and territoriality, which typify globalisation, have long operated in diverse spatial and temporal registers - ecological, religious, demographic, economic, and political - to transform the social and cultural spaces where people invest in nature. Scholars, policy-makers and activists would thus do well to abandon the idea that national maps alone constitute the geography of modernity.

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