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The Persistency of the India-Pakistan Conflict: Chances and Obstacles of the Bilateral Composite Dialogue

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Wojczewski, Thorsten

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Abstract This article investigates the underlying causes for the persistency of the India–Pakistan conflict and, on this basis, the chances and obstacles of the bilateral composite dialogue initiated in 2004. In particular, it wants to provide a theoretically grounded account of the factors that facilitated and constrained the bilateral composite dialogue process. Drawing on the regional security complex theory, this article examines the rivalry between the two South Asian nuclear powers on four levels of analysis: the domestic, the regional, the interregional and the global level. The analysis shows that there have been some substantial changes on all four levels in the recent decade or so and that these changes have provided more beneficial conditions for a peace process. These changes include, inter alia, India’s new regional policy, the consequences of the 9/11 terrorist attacks for the region and India’s growing power capacities. However, major obstacles to the India–Pakistan dialogue and a permanent conflict resolution continue to persist: the dominant role of the military in Pakistan, conflicting national identities and the still partially contested nature of statehood in India and Pakistan, which is in the case of Pakistan linked to the growing power of Islamic fundamentalists.
Keywords India; Pakistan; bilateral conflict; bilateral relations; peace process; dialogue; conflict management; national security; regional policy; statehood; South Asia
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Free Keywords regional security; complex theory
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 319-345
Journal Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 1 (2014) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2347797014551269
ISSN 2349-0039
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.