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Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age examines the construction of a Sikh national identity in post-colonial India and the diaspora and explores the reasons for the failure of the movement for an independent Sikh state: Khalistan. Based on a decade of research, it is argued that the failure of the movement to bring about a sovereign, Sikh state should not be interpreted as resulting from the weakness of the ‘communal’ ties which bind members of the Sikh ‘nation’ together, but points to the transformation of national identity under conditions of globalization. Globalization is perceived to have severed the link between nation and state and, through the proliferation and development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), has facilitated the articulation of a transnational ‘diasporic’ Sikh identity. It is argued that this ‘diasporic’ identity potentially challenges the conventional narratives of international relations and makes the imagination of a post-Westphalian community possible. Theoretically innovative and interdisciplinary in approach, it will be primarily of interest to students of South Asian studies, political science and international relations, as well as to many others trying to come to terms with the continued importance of religious and cultural identities in times of rapid political, economic, social and cultural change.
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Giorgio Shani is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the International Christian University, Japan. He is co-editor of Protecting Human Security in a Post 9/11 World (2007), and has published widely in leading academic journals including International Studies Review, The Cambridge Review of International Affairs, South Asia Research and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism.Review:
'The author deserves applause for creating a readable narrative that effectively incorporates his understanding of Sikh history and demonstrates his close acquaintance with the theoretical literature centered upon themes ranging from identity formation to nationalism, diaspora studies, and globalization.' - Gurinder Singh Mann, University of California, Santa Barbara
'This book provides a rich synthesis of the existing literature on the subject, with a critical review of the arguments of the leading scholars in the field. The argument builds gradually and cogently, weaving the story from Punjab to the diaspora. The author does well to incorporate such diverse literature and argumentation, as well as providing us with new data on how the Sikhs in the diaspora are imagining Sikh identity in a global age. There is interesting use of internet groups that have been at the forefront of some of the debates that dominate the contemporary discourses about Sikh identity' - Gurharpal Singh, University of Birmingham, Nations Review
'This is an important book, which discerns key shifts in the ways in which Sikh political life has taken shape in the last fifty years, and how the Sikh community has arrived at a particular moment of promise. The book’s argument for a fundamental rethinking of assumptions regarding nationalist movements in the present in relation to the larger international system is both intellectually and pragmatically important.' - Anne Murphy, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 69, No.2 Feb 2010
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