This edited book provides a range of perspectives on the handling of particular aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic across the principal states of South Asia.
As the first academic volume to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in South Asia, it examines such issues as how India has dealt with the fallout of the pandemic on its substantial diaspora in the Middle East; the competitive Sino-Indian vaccine diplomacy strategies in Bangladesh; Nepal’s attempts to cope with the pandemic in light of its limited health infrastructure; Sri Lanka’s differential treatment of its population based upon ethnic preferences; and how Pakistan’s civil-military relations shaped its handling of the pandemic. The Introduction and the first section summarize the responses to the pandemic made by each principal state in the region. These chapters assess the process of decision-making within each state, with special attention placed on identifying and analzying the actors involved. The Covid-19 pandemic is also reshaping international relations of the subcontinent and the pandemic has laid bare several new cross-border challenges and opportunities that states will have to contend with in the future. The book also considers five of the most pressing issue areas. First, it considers how diaspora communities in the Gulf were affected by the pandemic, and what lessons South Asian sending states can take from protecting their citizens in the future. Second, the Covid-19 pandemic will affect how countries engage in status politics, shaping which countries will be able to lead in regional relations. Third, the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to affect prospects for regional cooperation, both for dealing with the current pandemic as well as future crises. Fourth, it will shape how South Asian states engage in global governance. Fifth, South Asian states may revisit their relations with China in light of the pandemic.
This book will be of much interest to students of South Asian politics, human security and international relations.