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Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

Understanding radicalism: religious identity and politics of power within and across South Asian borders



This research project examines the emergence of religious radicalism in South Asia, its historical causes and its influence on diasporic communities. Situated at the intersection of social sciences and humanities, it draws on historical, contextual and anthropological methodologies to develop a multi-sited analysis of religious fundamentalism. The overall objective is to bring an informed account of the relation between religious identities and the politics of power in South Asia as well as its impact on global and local arenas of political and cultural action. More specifically, the project first aims to examine local strategies of opposition against fundamentalist discourses along with the endogenous and indigenous alternatives to radicalisation. Secondly, it will seek to contribute to the reflection on how to develop policies for counteracting religious-based, inter-ethnic tensions and for promoting integration in a pluralistic society.