Statelessness is defined as the quality of being without a state, a nationality, or even the protection that nationality should offer. Addressing the lacuna in literature on stateless people in post-colonial South Asia, this study brings together the lived experiences of diverse stateless groups within a comparative framework. Through research conducted across dissimilar groups in different geographical locations—India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan—it asks some critical questions: How are certain groups and communities—often, the minorities—rendered stateless? Is the existing legal regime adequate to deal with the problem of statelessness? And do policymakers now need to think beyond legal terms, as judicial activism has clearly proved ineffective?
Demonstrating that continued situations of dislocation and/or refugeehood can produce statelessness, the book elaborates a new way of thinking about this increasingly important field of study, and suggests a way towards framing better and more inclusive international and national laws to deal with this issue.
With its cross-disciplinary approach, this volume will be invaluable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of international relations, political science, law, history and refugee studies. It will also be useful to research centres and non-governmental organisations working on/with stateless and refugee groups across the world.
Paula Banerjee is Associate Professor, Department of South and South East Asian Studies, University of Calcutta; and President, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata. She is an expert on Indo-American relations; and also a full-time faculty member in the Department of South and South East Asian Studies, University of Calcutta, Kolkata; and editorial board member of Refugee Watch. As part of her current work on borders and boundaries, and women in peace movements in South Asia, she has authored numerous papers on women in conflict situations in northeast India. She is the recipient of a number of international fellowships including the Advanced Taft Fellowship (1991–1993) and the WISCOMP Fellow of Peace Award (2001). Her previously published work includes Unstable Populations, Anxious States: Mixed and Massive Population Flows in South Asia (2013); Borders, Histories and Existences: Gender and Beyond (2010); Migration and Circles of Insecurities (2010, co-authored with Ranabir Samaddar); and Women in Peace Politics (2008).
Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury is Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata. Her specialisation is in regional cooperation, energy politics, refugees and displacement, women and conflict situations in South Asia. As the recipient of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) Senior Media Fellowship 2007 she worked on ‘Vernacular Dailies and the Ethnic and/or Religious Stereotypes in the Time of Violence’. She also received the Kodikara Award from the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Colombo in 1998–99 and was an Indian Council of Social Science Research Post-Doctoral Fellow (2004–06) at the Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. Her previous publications include Women in Indian Borderlands (2011, co-edited with Paula Banerjee) and SAARC at Crossroads: The Fate of Regional Cooperation in South Asia (2006).
Atig Ghosh is Assistant Professor of History, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan; Honorary Researcher, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata; and part-time lecturer of history at Jadavpur University and West Bengal State University. He has been Assistant Editor, The Bengal Post, and is currently Managing Editor, Avantika: The World of Performing Arts. He was previously an external fellow of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, and has received many academic awards, including Order of Merit, Calcutta University, and Academic Excellence Certificate, Jagannath Hall, Dhaka University.