Contemporary Politics and Regional Economic Integration in South Asia

21 January 2016 – 21 January 2016 |  RCSS Conference Room

A delegation comprising of Sumit Ganguly (Professor of Political Science, Indiana University, USA), Brian Hedrick (National Intelligence Council, USA), and Robert Williams (National Intelligence Council, USA) provided opening remarks to a discussion ‘Contemporary Politics and Regional Economic Integration in South Asia’ on January 21st 2016, 4-6 PM at RCSS. The discussion was moderated by Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, Executive Director, RCSS. The discussion brought together, former as well as current Ambassadors and High Commissioners, scholars, academics, businessmen, and journalists to share their views on the above topic. The discussion was a part of broader set of consultations, for the upcoming Global Trends 2035 Report which will be published following the US Presidential election. The Global Trends Report is a quadrennial report prepared by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) which has been shaping strategic conversations within and beyond the US government. In creating the report, the NIC engages expertise from outside the government on factors of such as globalization, demography and the environment, in order to produce a forward-looking document to aid policy makers in their long term planning on key issues of worldwide importance. In the light of the broader topic of discussions, some of the main themes that arose included, Sino-Lanka, Sino-India, and India-Sri Lanka relations, as well as US relations within the region, including, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and China. In particular, emphasis was made on understanding how these regional trends affect the overall economic, political and social context of Sri Lanka. Brief Bios Sumit Ganguly is a Professor of Political Science, holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations and directs the Center on American and Global Security at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has previously taught at James Madison College of Michigan State University, Hunter College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Ganguly has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, a Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, a Guest Scholar at the Center for Cooperative Monitoring in Albuquerque and a Visiting Scholar at the German Institute for International and Area Studies in Hamburg. He was also the holder of the Ngee Ann Chair in International Politics at the Rajaratnam School for International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in the spring term of 2010 and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in New Delhi in the fall term of 2010.  In the Spring Quarter of 2014 he was the Visiting Roberta Buffett Professor of International Studies at Northwestern University. Professor Ganguly is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York). He serves on the editorial boards of the American Political Science Review, Asian Security, Current History, Journal of Democracy, the India Review, the Nonproliferation Review, Pacific Affairs, International Security and Security Studies. He is also an Associate Editor of Security Studies. A specialist on the contemporary politics of South Asia is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 20 books on the region.  His most recent books are India Since 1980 (with Rahul Mukherji), published by Cambridge University Press, Asian Rivalries: Conflict, Escalation and Limitations on Two-Level Games (with William Thompson) published by Stanford University Press, How Rivalries End (with William Thompson and Karen Rasler and the Oxford Short Introduction to Indian Foreign Policy for Oxford University Press (New Delhi). In the spring of 2016, Cambridge University Press will publish his book Deadly Impasse: India-Pakistan Relations at the Dawn of a New Century. Robert Williams is a National Intelligence Officer for South Asia and a Senior Adjunct Professor at American University. He is an accomplished senior intelligence professional with 19 years of experience, including 8 years as an executive. He has served at the US Department of Defense, on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and in the White House Situation Room. Brian Hedrick is Deputy National Intelligence Officer for South Asia, at the National Intelligence Council. He is a senior political-military regional expert and retired U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer for South Asia. He has an extensive background in global geopolitical security issues including energy, climate change, water, health, education, security forces and development and is intimately familiar with military, political, defense industry, and broad cultural and linguistic issues in India and surrounding countries.