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Practicing the International: India-Pakistan Relations in the Punjab Borderland

KORMOLL, RAPHAELA,TABEA (2019) Practicing the International: India-Pakistan Relations in the Punjab Borderland. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores how relations between India and Pakistan have been reproduced through everyday economic and security practices in the Punjab borderland. Punjab has received very little attention in studies of contemporary relations between India and Pakistan. The focus of the literature has primarily been on the security concerns of the central governments over nuclear armament, terrorism and the territorial dispute over Kashmir. How these broader security concerns relate to everyday practices in borderlands outside Kashmir largely escapes our knowledge. However, understanding the link between borderlanders’ perceptions and experiences and international relations is important for foreign policymaking as everyday practices in borderlands inform policies, treaties and agreements, which in turn shape everyday practices. Building on a framework developed from Pierre Bourdieu’s (1977) practice theory, border and security studies and nine months of ethnographically informed fieldwork in India and Pakistan, I explore this relationship through four case studies: 1) bilateral wars and crises, 2) the Khalistan separatist movement, 3) everyday life in the Punjab borderland, and 4) bilateral trade through the Attari-Wagah border crossing point linking Indian and Pakistani Punjab. By relating everyday practices in the Punjab borderland to high-level discussions on all issues of mutual concern during the Composite Dialogue Process (2004-12), this research makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the role of border states in foreign policymaking. It shows how government-to-government talks and agreements were shaped by practices in the Punjab borderland and in turn influence everyday life. The study also contributes to debates in security studies, development and International Political Sociology. It develops Pierre Bourdieu’s (1990, 159-93) model for the analysis of a political crisis and renders it relevant to the study of security crises and military interventions.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:India-Pakistan relations; Punjab; everyday practices; Pierre Bourdieu; border studies; International Political Sociology; International Relations;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Apr 2020 10:40

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