South Asia 2060

South Asia 2060

Envisioning Regional Futures

Edited by Adil Najam & Moeed Yusuf

Anthem South Asian Studies

“South Asia 2060” is a dialogue between 47 thought leaders, ranging from policymakers to academics to civil society activists and visionaries from across South Asia and the world, on the likely longer-range trajectories of South Asia’s future as a region. The collection explores how South Asia’s regional future will impact the rest of the world while also shedding light on its present condition.



December 2013

£27.99, $43.60

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About This Book

This book is the product of an ongoing dialogue among 47 experts from a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds, including thought leaders from the ranks of policymakers, academics and civil society. These thought leaders and visionaries discuss the likely longer-range trajectories of South Asia’s future as a region, focusing particularly on current regional trends, possible futures and the key factors that will determine whether these trajectories are positive or negative for the region.

Will we even be talking about a “South Asian region” 50 years from now? And will the region still be seen as a threat to global stability? This future-oriented exploration tackles these questions whilst departing from a purely security-based analysis to include factors such as development and human well-being, seeking to shed light on a whole spectrum of current issues that will affect the region into the future.

The essays in this book organically inform the collection’s coherent and nuanced outlook on the region, which offers both an introspective and globally aware perspective of the outcomes of the region’s development. The volume fills the gap in studies on South Asia by exploring its regional identity, as well as the potential of present conditions to impact the future of South Asia and the rest of the world.


“[A]n all-star cast of serious scholars covering a number of topics. […] The range of topics undertaken is nearly encyclopedic: South Asia as a region, state relations, economic development, and human well-being. However, there is a commonality of perspective running through nearly all of the essays, regardless of topic.” —William G. Vanderbok, “Exemplar: The Journal of South Asian Studies”

“The Pardee Center and its authors should be congratulated for this ambitious and comprehensive effort to project trends and imagine alternative realities 50 years hence for areas that will remain key challenges in South Asia, ranging from democracy and regional identity to education to water management. This work will remain a valuable reference for scholars and practitioners alike as they strive to understand the effects of these trends and new realities in this diverse and perplexing region, soon to be the world’s largest, on the lives of people there, and on overall global stability. In addition, the well-researched ‘worst case scenarios’ can help focus the minds of governments and civil society to ensure that investments are made now that will ensure a positive shift in South Asia’s trajectory.”  —Robin Raphel, former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, USA


“South Asia still remains the serpent that eats its tail, but this book spurs fresh intellectual agency on a region that is in danger of missing its ‘moment.’ It offers a compelling set of arguments that pivot on the case for a stronger regional identity and imaginative thinking for a future constructed on hope. Required reading for policymakers looking for informed discourse as well as much-needed unconventional wisdoms on South Asia.”  —Sherry Rehman, former Federal Minister of Pakistan

“Leading experts on South Asia have gazed through the telescope and offered their predictions for the political and socioeconomic landscape of 2060. What emerges is a surprisingly optimistic composite picture of a vibrant, dynamic and cohesive region. The prospects of South Asia evolving into Southasia are tantalizing. This is political astronomy at its best.”  —Lalit Mansingh, former Foreign Secretary of India


Author Information

Adil Najam is vice chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, professor of international relations at Boston University, USA, and the former director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University. 

Moeed Yusuf is the South Asia adviser at the Center for Conflict Management, United States Institute of Peace.


Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of Abbreviations; Introduction Imagining South Asian Futures –  Moeed Yusuf and Adil Najam; SECTION I: SOUTH ASIA AS A REGION: Chapter 1: Prisoners or Masters of Destiny? – Ramesh Thakur; Chapter 2: South Asian Futures: Three Scenarios – Stephen P. Cohen and Jacob Friedman; Chapter 3: Federalism on the Road: Region and Regionalism – Kanak Mani Dixit; Chapter 4: Diversity in South Asia – John Thomson; Chapter 5: Future’s Past – Manan Ahmed Asif; SECTION II: STATE RELATIONS: Chapter 6: The Future of Democracy – Jalal Alamgir; Chapter 7: Conflict and Reconciliation: Three Scenarios – Amitabh Mattoo; Chapter 8: Religion and State Formation – Najeeb Jung; Chapter 9: Will South Asia Still Be Terrorism’s Center of Gravity? – William Milam; Chapter 10: Speculations on Nuclear South Asia – Pervez A. Hoodbhoy and Zia Mian; Chapter 11: Nuclear Risk: Overstated or Underrated? – Hilary Synnott; Chapter 12: The Shadow of the India–Pakistan Stalemate – Maleeha Lodhi; Chapter 13: Regional Integration – Lhaba Tshering; Chapter 14: The Future of Integration – Nihal Rodrigo; Chapter 15: The Giant Neighbor: Why is China Important? – Manu Bhaskaran; SECTION III: DEVELOPMENT: Chapter 16: South Asian Economy in 2060 –   Ishrat Husain; Chapter 17: Economic Futures: Challenges Ahead – A. K. Enamul Haque; Chapter 18: South Asia in the Asian Economy: Struggling  to Overcome History – Amitendu Palit; Chapter 19: Globalization and South Asia – Sanjoy Chakravorty; Chapter 20: Trade Relations: Some Predictions and Lessons – Pradeep S. Mehta and Niru Yadav; Chapter 21: Urban Policy for Environmental Quality and Well-Being – Madhav G. Badami and Murtaza Haider; Chapter 22: Urban Futures, Urban Challenges – Syed Abu Hasnath; Chapter 23: Water Security: Risks and Responses – John Briscoe; Chapter 24: Agriculture and Food Security – M. E. Tusneem; Chapter 25: Meeting Electric Power Demand in South Asia – Rajan Gupta and Harihar Shankar; Chapter 26: E-South Asia: A Social Science Fiction – Rohan Samarajiva; SECTION IV: HUMAN WELL-BEING: Chapter 27: Population Dynamics, Economic Prospects and Regional Coherence – David E. Bloom and Larry Rosenberg; Chapter 28: Towards Cooperation for Poverty Reduction? – Safiya Aftab; Chapter 29: Health Challenges – Gerald T. Keusch and Pramilla Senanayake; Chapter 30: Regional Disease Dynamics – Chalinda D. Weerasinghe; Chapter 31: Education: Time Bomb or Silver Bullet? – Jamshed Bharucha; Chapter 32: Scholarship in and on South Asia – Ali Riaz; Chapter 33: Rights and Justice: A Prospective View – Balakrishnan Rajagopal; Chapter 34: Patriarchy, Power and Paradox: Dreaming Gender Equality and Development – Shahla Haeri and Brenda Gael McSweeney; Chapter 35: Women in South Asia – Anita M. Weiss; Chapter 36: Media: New Trends, Old Problems – Beena Sarwar; Chapter 37: Sports: Passion and Industry – Saad Shafqat; About the Authors; Bibliography; Index


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