Book Review: Anuradha Bose (Das), ed., SAARC A Quest for Unity: Problems and Prospects

Published date01 June 2013
Date01 June 2013
Subject MatterBook Reviews
142 Book Reviews
Jadavpur Journal of International Relations, 17, 1 (2013): 129–152
Anuradha Bose (Das), ed., SAARC A Quest for Unity: Problems and
Prospects. Kolkata: Minerva Associates (Publications), 2011, In
Association with Nabagram Hiralal Paul College, Political Science
Department, Hoogly, pp. 112. Rs 175/$ 6.00.
DOI: 10.1177/0973598414524130
The sub-continent of South Asia has been the subject matter for a wide
range of academic research, deliberations and area studies. The dynamic
issues confronting the countries of the region have been of topical inter-
est, with a substantial portion of scholarly attention being focused on
developments in the region as a whole; its historical contours, conflict,
and peace initiatives among the nations, rising geo-strategic importance,
growing external influence, and impediments to political stability and
economic growth. With the establishment of the South Asian Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) in December 1985, in-depth analysis of the myr-
iad issues concerning the attainment of comprehensive regional coopera-
tion attained centre-stage. Today, as SAARC has traversed a temporal
journey of more than 25 years, it would be pertinent to make a retrospec-
tive evaluation of its achievements, capabilities, lacunae, future poten-
tial, and the overall efficacy of the instrumentality of regional cooperation
in South Asia. The present volume is a recent contribution in this sphere.
It is an outcome of a UGC-sponsored state level seminar on SAARC,
organized and conducted by the Department of Political Science of
Nabagram Hiralal Paul College, West Bengal, in association with the
West Bengal Political Science Association, on December 3, 2010 to
commemorate the ‘silver jubilee’ year of SAARC. It brings together six
essays which largely highlight, as suggested by the title, the problems
and prospects facing SAARC as a regional organization. At the outset,
the book acknowledges the significance of SAARC as it binds together
the countries of South Asia, which is ‘recognized as an area of crucial
importance in the arena of world politics’. It suggests that countries must
try new patterns of relationships, focusing on complete involvement of
each member in resolving the problems of the region, in order to
strengthen the prospects of total unity. The articles on the whole outline
the various factors, inter-relational and geo-strategic, which seem to
evoke both hope and concern regarding the future efficacy of SAARC.

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