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13 Pages

Introduction The Post-Colonial States of South Asia: Democracy, Identity, Development and Security

The South Asian states reveal a significant amount of change since the achievement of independence. The evolving relationships between various branches of the state - the civil with the military, the executive with the legislative and judicial, the central with the regional or local - have all contributed to defining the nature and cohesion of the state entity as a whole. There has also been a growing interaction between the original post-colonial form of the state and the broader patterns of political activity and mobilisation as expressed in political parties, regional movements, religious or linguistic groups, and social classes. This has caused an alteration in the dominant ideology of the state on the one hand and a restructuring of the surrounding political environment on the other. Previously dominant groups have been forced to adapt the pursuit of their own interests to the competition and challenges posed by other numerically significant groups now active in the polity. Whether these changes are positive or dysfunctional to the working of each system requires investigation and assessment.