NIAS Thesis Proposal Presentation: "Implications of Local Conflicts on Bilateral Relations: Cases of Land Boundary and Enclave Conflicts on India-Bangladesh Relations" by Mr. Surya Sankar Sen, Conference Hall 2, NIAS, 1030hrs

National Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Science Campus



Thesis  Proposal  Presentation



Implications of Local Conflicts on Bilateral Relations:

Cases of Land Boundary and Enclave Conflicts on India-Bangladesh Relations



Mr. Surya Sankar Sen

Friday, 8 September 2017, Conference Hall 2, NIAS, 10:30 am


Abstract: Bilateral relations, as have widely been understood, are based on the greater discourse of comprehending with the national interests of the states involved. The national interest of a particular state is comprehended as being based on certain identified ‘national issues’. The ideas associated with these ‘national issues’ gives an impression of representing concerns that are associated with the grand narratives of a nation state. Going by such an understanding of ‘national issues’ and ‘national interests’ the entire range of ‘local issues’, however, appear to be neglected in the process of their formulation. In probable outcomes, the success and failure of bilateral engagement is believed to be correlated with these identified national issues and the dynamics underlying them at the same national level of analysis. As opposed to this narrative, the implications of local level conflicts on bilateral relations are mostly overlooked.  The larger template of Indo-Bangladesh bilateral relations have also been subjected to a similar reading. That is, from the perspective of national interests of both countries. Against this understanding, there exists an alternative viewpoint that is frequently overlooked – one that is derived from the ‘local’, and its understanding and narratives surrounding the same issues and conflicts.  In this study, I propose to understand the implications of local conflicts on bilateral relations. The case studies taken in this proposed research are the conflicts surrounding the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) and the Enclaves along the India-Bangladesh border. The connection between conflicts manifesting at the local level and its effect on the bilateral relations between the two countries, the process by which ‘national interests’ are articulated, and if at all the ‘national’ is inclusive of the ‘local’ will be discerned. The position of the narratives of the Enclave dwellers within the states’ discourses regarding the issues of land exchange, the transference of sovereignty and its other related concerns will be critically engaged with. Through this, the research will attempt to comprehend the differences in perception between these two narratives; regarding the issues of nationality, territoriality and citizenship which underlines the conflicts, and their implications on bilateral relations.


 All are invited to attend

Friday, September 8, 2017