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The South Asia Initiative

The South Asia Initiative

The South Asia Initiative (SAI) is a platform for research, analysis and outreach on the countries of South Asia, and the relationship between the region and the wider world. The Initiative aims to be a node for Swedish expertise on the region, and Sweden’s approaches to it. SAI strives to be relevant to those professionally or in other ways actively engaging with India and the South Asian region. The Initiative is co-hosted by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET), at Lund University.

South Asia is connected through languages, shared histories and religions. It is home to about a fifth of the world’s population and a host of complex political relations and security challenges, as well as great economic promise. With the changing role of Asian powers in world affairs, increased knowledge and awareness about the South Asian region is of great importance. SAI focuses on India and dynamics connected to India’s rise, closely follows the political and societal trends in Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and monitors Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal. The activities of the South Asia Initiative are organised around three broad themes:

  • Norms and democracy in South Asia
  • The Indo-Pacific
  • Europe’s engagement with India


SAI conducts academic research, commissioned studies, and contribute actively to international networks. The Initiative communicates with the general public and targeted audiences through seminars and forums, media engagements, expert meetings and written output.


Previous publications:

• Indien – en framväxande stormakt

• The Conversation: Ayodhya land ruling has thrust history into the centre of Indian politics – what this means for the future

• The Conversation: Sri Lanka: Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election victory sparks fear among minorities

• UI Paper: The Partnership Shift: Analysing the European Union’s Strategic Engagement with India

• UI Brief: A tenuous trilateral? Russia-India-China relations in a changing world order

• Economic Times: Now is the time to scale up cooperation between India and the EU

• DN Debatt: ”Alltför dåliga kunskaper om asiatiska samhället i Sverige”

• Varför ett kunskapslyft om Asien behövs – En kartläggning av svenskt Asienkunnande



Indiens hantering av coronakrisen

The UI Podcast, 3 April 2020

Hur har indisk politik påverkats av Coronakrisen, vad sägs i den inrikespolitiska debatten, och vad ser vi för trender vad gäller Indiens internationella roll och ambitioner?
Det är några av frågorna som UI:s analytiker Axel Nordenstam reder ut i den här podden.


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