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POLI 322 sept 5.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 322
Narendra Subramanian

POLI 322 – Lecture Notes September 5, 2012 -coursepack in the bookstore -also readings on MyCourses -introduction to political change in South Asia -about 23% of the world’s population -includes 7 countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh (these 3 countries constitute 97% of the population of the region), Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives -of these countries, India is the largest (75% of the population of the region) and 17% of the world’s population -we will spend most of the course talking about India, some talking about Pakistan, and discuss changes in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Distinctiveness of Region 1. Geography -area is separated from other parts of the world by seas surrounding the region in 3 regions -in much of the north/northwest there are mountains -this kind of geography results in limited contact with other regions of the world until recently 2. History -the ancestry is mixed between indigenous peoples and more recent settlers from the northwest -more recently, the region was ruled by the British (late 18 thcentury for north eastern, 19 th century for southern) -the experience of British rule shaped south Asian society, economy, state, and culture (at least had some significant influence) Some Features of South Asia -high share of world population -poverty -cultural diversity -sustained democracy -ethnic and religious politics -if you look at income alone, the assumption that people earning less than $1.25 US per day are poor -by that assumption, South Asia has 43% of the world’s poor (6 billion) -but by proportion, more people in Sub Saharan Africa are poor than South Asia  if the amount changes to $2 per day, then South Asia does indeed have the highest proportion -these indexes don’t account for other way
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