Durable Disorder is an outstanding collection of essays on the politics of Northeast India. Much like Baruah's monograph on the political troubles in Assam, this work discusses the origins of ethnic conflicts in Northeast India and how these conflicts have perpetuated themselves through both internal jockeying for resources and recognition among ethnic or cultural groups and the unintended consequences of state policies that foster instead of discourage these movements. Importantly, Baruah details the erosion of true democracy and respect for human rights that both the state and these ethnic movements have precipitated.
Baruah's conclusion discussing the potential of economic development and a bold "Look East Policy" fostering economic trade and cooperation between Northeast India, Burma, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and other Asian countries contiguous with present day Northeast India is insightful and forward thinking, although given the political barriers may be somewhat idealistic in the short term.
Overall, this is an excellent work and one policymakers in India should take seriously if they hope to resolve the problems of this troubled region.
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Doug Baker (cdbaker)
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