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Ted Svensson on Transcending antagonism in South Asia

Black and white photo of Ted Svensson. Photo.

Ted Svensson has published the article "Transcending antagonism in South Asia: advancing agonistic peace through the Partition Museum" in the journal Peacebuilding.


India and Pakistan are entrenched in an antagonistic relation that is constantly on the verge of, once more, developing into an armed conflict. There are, presently, no signs of conciliatory initiatives on the level of state-to-state interactions, which, contrariwise, tend to uphold incompatible conceptions of regional order, nationhood and the Partition as a constitutive moment. The latter further adds to the main obstacles to dialogue and cooperation, which include emphatic disagreements on territorial claims. It, moreover, reifies ideas of national belonging along communal lines. The article analyses the Partition Museum in Amritsar as a rare opportunity to, in an agonistic manner, challenge and undo the antagonism that was enacted in 1947 and that has deepened ever since. While it succeeds in actuating a shift away from rigid friend-enemy imageries and dichotomous views of wrongdoing, it fails to decisively critique and unsettle the originary binary that underpins and propels the conflict.

To the article in the journal Peacebuilding

Ted Svensson's profile in Lund University research portal