Paul Staniland

Kashmir since 2003: Counterinsurgency and the Paradox of “Normalcy”

Why does instability persist after violence ends?

The recurrent conflicts between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has created an extraordinarily volatile political environment. This condition persists today despite reduced violence and calls by the Indian state for political normalization on terms that mix a limited degree of autonomy with continued interest in integration. To understand this paradox, Staniland examines the tensions that emerged from India’s simultaneous commitment to the political-military status quo and to ostensibly normal political processes. This tension between stated goals and actual practices opens up the possibility of a return to violence, undermines economic growth, and fulfills few political aspirations. His analysis can help explain tensions in other Asian conflict zones and suggests why instability can endure even after the guns have largely fallen silent.

Asian Survey (2013)

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Syria Conflict Refugees

Syrian women and children travel from areas controlled by jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group, en route to safety in areas held by by Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, on November 9, 2016, near the village of Mazraat Khaled, some 40 km away from the Islamic State group's (IS) de-facto capital of Raqa.

DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images