Book Review | Kashmir in Comparative Perspective: Democracy and Violent Separatism in India

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Author- Sten Widmalm

This book investigates the factors that led to the breakdown of democracy and the rise of violent separatism in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1980s, and how the risk of a large-scale war has grown in South Asia in the 1990s.

Solutions to this conflict need to be based on knowledge about what caused it as well as perspectives on why this conflict is so particularly dangerous. Widmalm offers answers in this book, with systematic comparisons over time to establish the causes of the conflict.

He refutes the contention that ethnic factors are the main cause, while acknowledging that ethnic dividing lines are salient features of the conflict today. Interviews with representatives of the Indian government, the ISI in Pakistan and separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir are also incorporated.

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