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Managing Contested Borders: A Case Study of the India-Pakistan Border

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This study is an attempt to answer two puzzles. One, despite sustained bilateral political and diplomatic attempts to reduce tension between India and Pakistan, ceasefire violations (CFVs) continue to take place. If CFVs are politically sanctioned by either New Delhi or Islamabad, we should expect them to stop when political authorities desire so. But they don’t always stop. Sometimes CFVs begin, and end, for no obvious reason. How does one explain that?  Two, it is widely believed that terror attacks are the major cause behind Indo-Pak escalation. However, political, military and diplomatic escalation has taken place between India and Pakistan even in the absence of terror attacks. If terror incidents explain escalation, how does one explain escalation in the absence of terror strikes?  The larger study aims to explain the causes behind the recurrent CFVs between India and Pakistan, examine the link between CFVs and escalation dynamics, and contribute to the general literature on inter-state escalation dynamics, and ceasefire agreements (their durability and the lack thereof). This presentation will primarily focus on the causes behind recurrent CFVs between India and Pakistan, methodologies used in the study, and notes from field visits.

Happymon Jacob is a Senior Global Challenges Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest.  Jacob is on sabbatical from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he is an Associate Professor of Disarmament Studies. Jacob is a regular op-ed contributor to The Hindu, one of India’s leading English-language dailies. He also organises and/or participates in the three most influential Indian-Pakistan track-two dialogues: Chaophraya Dialogue, Pugwash India-Pakistan Dialogue, and the Ottawa India-Pakistan Dialogue. Webpage: