CFP: The Cold War in South Asia

Bridget Walsh's picture
Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
Asian American History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Literature, South Asian History / Studies, Southeast Asian History / Studies

During the latter half of the twentieth century, the rivalry between the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union, dubbed the Cold War, decisively shaped the global world order that emerged in the aftermath of WWII and the dismantling of the western European empires. While it is typically understood as a struggle between the capitalist “First” and the socialist “Second” Worlds who refrained from waging direct war against each other despite having massive nuclear arsenals, this narrative tells only a part of what was a truly global story. Much of the heat of the Cold War was actually felt in the “Third” World – Asia, Africa, Latin America – as the superpowers engaged in conflicts through their allies and proxies in search of regional hegemony. Actualized in the “Third” World, the Cold War informed the political, economic, and cultural lives of that vast region.


This volume investigates how the Cold War impacted South Asia from the 1940s to the 1990s, by examining its registration in the political processes, economic programmes, and cultural productions across the region. Issues it seeks to examine in relation to the Cold War and South Asia include, but are not limited to:


  • Decolonization
  • Inter-state relationships
  • Social movements
  • Role and repression of the Communist Parties
  • Cultural exchange and collaboration (Soviet Union, China, US in SA)
  • Sino-Soviet split
  • Bandung and Non-Alignment
  • Impact of US defeat in Korea and Vietnam
  • Liberation of Bangladesh
  • Literary debates in the Cold War era
  • The neoliberal turn


By South Asia, the volume refers to the nation-states that are members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. We are also interested in work that focuses on spaces that adjoin South Asia, namely, Iran, Central Asian Republics, Myanmar and, of course, China.


We are currently soliciting articles for this volume. Please write to the editors with a 300-word abstract and brief bio by 30 June 2018. Final articles of no more than 7000 words (including footnotes) are due by 31 May 2019.


The editors of this volume may be contacted at

Sandeep Banerjee:

Subho Basu:

Auritro Majumder:


The volume is a part of the Routledge Series in the Global Cultures of the Cold War, edited by Monica Popescu, Katherine Zien and Sandeep Banerjee.