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Geopolitics beyond Borders


For the first time in its remembered history, multiple nations in South Asia are in direct geo-politico-strategic friction with one another, with a reality that seriously challenges the “balance” in the region. New power-brokers have entered the fray, becoming active vectors in calibrating earlier tensions — the increasing regional influence of China through its “Belt and Road Initiative”, the dynamics of South Asian investments in sub-Saharan Africa, the emergence of Iran and its role in South Asia, the long and slow establishment ofthe state of Afghanistan — alongside the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan, strengthening Blue Finance in the Indian Ocean, and the bellicosity of nuclear-powered nationalisms.

The LSE South Asia Centre, in collaboration with LSE IDEAS and The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), will host a series of virtual Roundtables to discuss the complexities at the heart of this scenario: the gradual but sure loss of India’s control of the geo-strategic narrative; the strengthening of relations between Nepal and China; Pakistan’s increasing intolerance of Afghanistan; the challenge of India’s “Act East” policy; and China’s sure and steady grip over the region, to name but a few.

Each Roundtable will invite experts of the new alongside the old, and produce a Working Policy Paper.



Different Stars, Different Stripes: The US in South Asia

Date/Time: Tuesday, 16 February /4 pm GMT/11 am ET/9.30 pm India

PanelistsHusain Haqqani (@husainhaqqani) is Director for South & Central Asia, Hudson Institute, New York, and an expert on US-Pakistan relations;  Daniel Markey (@MarkeyDaniel) is Senior Research Professor in International Relations, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, and specialises in US-India relations; Rani D. Mullen (@RaniDMullen) is Associate Professor of Government, College of William & Mary, Virginia, USA, and her expertise is on US-Afghanistan policy relations. 

ModeratorRahul Roy-Chaudhury is Senior Fellow for South Asia, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London.

ChairNilanjan Sarkar is Deputy Director, LSE South Asia Centre. 

Registration for this event will start in w/c 25 January.



The Dragon’s Ring: China in South Asia

Date/Time: Tuesday, 13 October/3-4:30pm

Speakers: Filippo Boni (@FilippoBoni1) is Lecturer in Politics & International Studies, Open University, UK, and is a specialist in the politics of Chinese investments in South Asia; Li Li is Deputy Director-General & Senior Fellow, Insitute for International Relations, Tsinghua University, Beijing; Rahul Roy-Chaudhury is Senior Fellow for South Asia at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London; Nilanthi Samaranayake (@nilanthis) is Director, Strategy & Policy Analysis Program, Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), Virginia, USA, and is an expert on China's maritime presence in South Asia.

Moderator: Chris Alden is Professor, International Relations, LSE, and Co-Director, LSE IDEAS.

Chair: Nilanjan Sarkar is Deputy Director, LSE South Asia Centre.

A recording of this event is available here.