South Asian Regionalism: The Limits of Cooperation

Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow (SS) at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • January 2021
    Book Review

    Regionalism in South Asia continues to evoke intense academic interest among scholars. SAARC, an organization that was conceptualized in the early eighties, evinced both hope and despair. A hope to overcome the factitious past and move onto the path of prosperity, and the despair that was embodied in its inability to achieve its potential. The fight against poverty and the path to prosperity has mostly been an individualistic journey among countries. Yet, SAARC is seen as a lynchpin of economic integration, a vehicle of reconciliation in the region that has seen two partitions and its economic consequences that resulted in the rupture of connectivity, trade and people-to-people contact. South Asia is straddling the political divide and economic complementarity and the possibility to emerge as an attractive market to invest and do business with. Bhumitra Chakma in South Asian Regionalism: Limits of Cooperation brings forth the challenges of regional cooperation in South Asia in eight substantial chapters explaining SAARC’s journey within a process-oriented approach.