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This introduction discusses the emergence and consolidation of spaces of violence in South Asia’s democracies from both historical and conceptual perspectives. By revealing the varied experiences and experiments across the subcontinent, it invokes a perspective on democracy and democratic governance that refrains from following the assumptions of most of the democracy research to date, which frames such debates in predominantly normative terms. In this vein, we seek to show how democracy can not only be built on a violent past, but also become the very basis for the emergence of violent spaces, which, more often than not, have unfolded in South Asia’s post-colonial societies, and possibly also in other parts of the world.

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In: Asian Journal of Social Science
In: The Price of Belonging: Perspectives from Asia
To belong often involves the performance of burdensome obligations, the sacrifice or suppression of personal desires for the collective good and the demand for demonstrating lifelong loyalty. Belonging may also entail hidden threats, risks and pressures that lurk in the corners of familiarity. These are the key aspects that The Price of Belonging explores in detail by bringing together nine original ethnographic case studies from across Asia and the Asian diaspora. By shedding light on the adverse facets of belonging, the book challenges its overly idealistic depictions and offers a differentiated look at this social practice.