Nation building or state making?

  • June 12, 2012
Nation building or state making?

Berenice Guyot-Rechard wins British Association for South Asian Studies prize.

A Gates Cambridge scholar has won the British Association for South Asian Studies Annual Prize 2012 for her paper on India’s attempts to integrate its isolated north-east frontier to the rest of the country.

Bérénice Guyot-Réchard‘s paper, ‘Nation-buildling or state-making? India’s North-East Frontier and the ambiguities of Nehruvian developmentalism’, won the best paper and presentation by a postgraduate student at the BASAS annual conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, the premier conference on South Asian studies in the United Kingdom.

The award, which was judged by the conference organisers and council members, includes a £250 prize and publication, following peer review, in the journals Contemporary South Asia or South Asian Studies.

Bérénice [2009] is doing a PhD in history, focusing on India’s north-eastern borderlands in the transitional period after India’s independence in 1947.

She says: “Unlike the rest of India, this mountainous, tribal region had been largely unadministered and unexplored under colonial rule. My objective is to understand how the young Indian state tried to re-shape this strategic area, located between India and China, into a part of India’s national space. My intent is not only to study a region that is marginal both in reality and in scholarly literature, but also to offer some insight into its troubled present.”

Her paper cautions against the tendency in many post-colonial countries to see development as a straightforward tool for national integration. She is now preparing it for publication.

Picture credit: dipindy and Creative Commons.

Latest News

Affecting change for the Māori community

Self-determination lies at the centre of Māori culture. “It’s a way of life,” says Chris Tooley. That idea is also at the heart of his PhD studies at Cambridge and his subsequent work in Parliament and in the community. Chris grew up with a strong sense of being part of the Māori community. He has ancestral […]

On the COVID frontline

Three Gates Cambridge scholars who have been on the medical frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic will be speaking about their experiences at a virtual event next weekend. The event, organised by the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association, will be moderated by Elizabeth Dzeng, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in the […]

New game tackles Covid conspiracies

A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in the UK Government’s efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation that is misleading many and costing lives across the world. Launched to the public today, the Go Viral! game has been developed by the […]

“Democracy does not work on a ‘trust me’ basis”

When Jennifer Gibson started her MPhil at Cambridge in 2001 as part of the inaugural class of Gates Scholars, no-one knew what it meant to be a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Twenty years later, Jennifer is now a human rights lawyer focused on national security issues, something she never could have anticipated, but which she credits in no small part […]