Socio-political Identity Transformations: The Rohingya Refugee Crisis in South and Southeast Asia
Funded by International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF) and American Political Science Association (APSA)
Socio-political identity transformations due to forced migration in the aftermath of ethnic violence involves complex processes. These transformations often reveal the causes of conflict, nature of violence and potentials for building peace. My research, which is a multi-dimensional project including ethnographic field research and a documentary film (duration:30 minutes) analyzes these transformations by focusing on the recent Rohingya refugee crisis that recurred in 2017 in South and Southeast Asia. It studies the transforming socio-political identities of Rohingya refugees who are currently in Bangladesh and Eastern India. What makes this analysis a particularly relevant one is that Rohingyas are considered ‘stateless’. Such categorization of this community is not new but reflects a historical, state based discrimination by the Myanmar government of this persecuted minority.
Understanding the Convergence of Terrorism and Insurgency
This research focuses on analyzing how and when two forms of political violence – terrorism and insurgency converge and how this convergence should inform counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency policies. Understanding how to respond to irregular warfare is a central question in political conflict literature and my research extends the understanding of this convergence, informs academic inquiries and helps in policy analysis. To analyze how terrorism and insurgency converges, I present an in-depth analysis of the Maoist conflict in India during 2005-2011. Specifically, I analyze 700 major incidents involving the Maoists to analyze how and when the Communist Party of India (Maoist) used terrorism as its tactics and insurgency as its strategy. I collected this original data during a field study in India in 2011-12, through newspaper archival research over six months. I use a classificatory method to group the incidents based on patterns such as timing of the conflict, targets of violence, who were directly involved, the location of violent events, and government responses to such incidents. In addition, I substantiate it with descriptive statistics to show overall patterns of the conflict and specific issues of convergence. My research ultimately provides insights to academics and policy makers about how violent political organizations often use terrorism and insurgency simultaneously. Once this convergence is identified, the response strategy should be modified to include and balance between tolerance, securitization, militarization, negotiation or other non-military methods.
- Srobana Bhattacharya. “Pro-Government Militias and Insurgency: The Maoist conflict in India."
- Srobana Bhattacharya and Courtney Burns. “What’s War Got To Do With It? Post Conflict Effects on Gender Equality in South and Southeast Asia, 1975-2006."
- Elizabeth Stovall (undergrad student) and Srobana Bhattacharya. “Islamic State: How are they recruiting Americans?"
- Srobana Bhattacharya. “The Patterns and Prevalence of Mass Shootings in America?"
- Srobana Bhattacharya. “Terrorism or Insurgency? What is the difference?"