On the face of it, South Asia appears to vindicate the Hobbesian image of international relations that is a central component of many rationalist/realist analyses and theories. Security dilemmas, arms races, nuclear stability or instability, hard military power, persistent conflict and war, the limits of cooperation, and foreign policy approaches centred on material capabilities and power gains can all uncontroversially be applied to the enduring Pakistan-India conflict. Many South Asian analysts and specialists thus adopt a realist (classical and structural) theoretical framework when seeking to explain India-Pakistani relations. Despite the apparent suitability of the realist framework to South Asia, however, a deeper analysis informed by post-positivist critiques of mainstream IR highlights the epistemological, ontological and methodological flaws inherent in the rationalist theories (including realism) that have traditionally dominated the field. These critiques apply nowhere more profoundly than South Asia, where the material forces of power and war can only adequately be explained by reference to the ideational forces that give them meaning. In particular, Constructivism—which highlights the importance of ideas, identity, constitutive rules and norms, culture, history, intersubjective meanings and the social nature of state interaction—offers great value to understanding and analysing India-Pakistan relations. Indeed, how else can Pakistan’s quest for survival and security through an almost obsessive concern with checking the power of its much larger Indian neighbour be explained but for the historical and institutionalised fears of ‘Hindu domination’ and the two-nation theory that is central to Pakistan’s self-conception and legitimises the very existence of the Pakistani state? Similarly, what else but the importance of it to India’s often fragile secular identity can explain New Delhi’s relentless efforts to keep the Muslim-majority Kashmir well within its grasp? The purported anarchic structure of the international system and India and Pakistan’s place within it cannot sufficiently explain the conflict; neither can rationalist explanations which assume interests are exogenously determined and treats states as ‘like-units’. Thus, this paper will challenge dominant rationalist/realist frameworks and incorporate constructivist insights and explain the enduring conflict with reference to the ‘intangible’ forces that give the material face of the conflict meaning. In particular, I will analyse the conflict utilising a constructivist understanding of identity
1. Methodology and structure
The central aim of this paper is to present a convincing case for the application of constructivism in the study of India-Pakistan relations. I will seek to achieve this in two ways. In the first third of the paper, I will introduce constructivism and emphasise its value by way of a comparative exercise with the dominant materialist/rationalist theories of IR—particularly neo-realism and neo-liberalism. This will allow me to elaborate on what constructivism is, how it is distinguishable from mainstream IR, and why it offers a more rewarding paradigm for analysing international relations and the India-Pakistan conflict. I will also explore why scholars of South Asia might have ignored constructivism, situating the answer within the context of the ‘good norm problem,’ denoting the under-theorisation of conflict and war by constructivists. However, I argue that this problem is not inherent to constructivism and the latter can offer convincing social explanations of conflict. The second, and most important, way I seek to present a convincing case for the application of constructivism to the India-Pakistan conflict is by moving beyond a general theoretical debate and demonstrate how a constructivist conceptualisation of identity can be applied to the study of the enduring India-Pakistan conflict and can illuminate it in ways that have hitherto generally not been attempted. To accomplish this, a significant portion of the paper will involve producing an analytical framework for ‘identity,’ which will entail a critical engagement with Alexander Wendt’s highly-influential ‘middle-ground’ constructivist conceptualisation of identity. After highlighting the flaws inherent in Wendt’s framework, I will draw on the insights of social psychology, social theory and sociology and produce a more convincing analytic framework for identity, which will incorporate both identity formation and its role in shaping actors and structures, as well as the relationship between identity and conflict. In the final half of the paper, I will apply the framework to the enduring India-Pakistan rivalry, and thus offer a constructivist interpretation of the conflict. I will then consider and critique alternative—mostly rationalist or materialist—explanations of the India-Pakistan conflict before concluding by suggesting how the argument presented might contribute to current debates.
2. The Value of Constructivism
As Jeffrey Checkel writes, constructivism is now ‘trendy.’ With the end of the Cold War shocking mainstream IR to the core, the appeal of constructivism has increased; it is now one of the central paradigms of the discipline, and a powerful rival of rationalist ‘neo’-realist/liberal approaches. Indeed, the journal International Organization heralded the rationalist-constructivist debate as the central contest in IR. Unfortunately, this debate has not extended to scholarship on the India-Pakistan conflict. Researchers largely continue to adopt rationalist—particularly realist/neo-realist—frameworks for analysing relations between the two states. In one recent study by highly-regarded academics of the subject, constructivism received only a footnote’s mention. While constructivism might be useful in explaining the source of enmity between the two states, the authors argue, it is less useful for analysing the dynamics of the conflict, particularly in South Asia’s nuclear era. For this task, neo-realism is most adequate and convincing. Some scholars have attempted to introduce constructivism as an alternative and potentially more rewarding paradigm, but they remain in a minority. To challenge this state of affairs, this chapter will engage with the disciplinary debate between rationalism and constructivism, and highlight the value of the latter by elaborating on its distinguishing features and demonstrating the effectiveness of its critique of mainstream rationalist/materialist IR theories. In particular, neo-realism will be presented as a degenerating research programme in Lakotsian terms. Conversely, it will be argued that constructivism is a progressive research programme with rich analytical and empirical value.
Constructivism is not a homogenous theoretical approach. Some constructivists adopt a ‘conventional’ epistemology, while others are ‘critical’ constructivists that utilise an interpretivist methodology. In addition, postmodern variants of constructivism also exist. Despite this variation, these competing approaches share several core ontological assumptions. Most importantly, constructivists argue that the relationship between material forces and human action and the way in which the two interact and shape each other depends on ‘normative and epistemic interpretations of the material world.’ Thus, ontologically constructivism is about the social construction of the social world. This has significant implications for international relations. Checkel identifies two core resulting assumptions. First, constructivists view the setting in which states/agents act—or in John Ruggie’s words ‘the building blocks of international realty’—as social or ideational as well as material. Indeed, material structures are given meaning only by ‘the social context through which they are interpreted.’ Thus, while both Cuba and Canada share a similar balance of military power and are located alongside the US, Cuba is regarded as a foe and Canada as a close ally by America; evidently not simply on the basis of a material distribution of capabilities, but as a consequence of ideational structures of friendship and enmity which attach greatly different meanings to Cuban and Canadian military power for US foreign policy. Similarly, India’s nuclear weapons have radically different meanings than China’s for Pakistan (the former being a ‘foe’ of Islamabad, the latter a ‘friend’). It is social structures—or systems of ‘intersubjective’ (not individual) or shared knowledge, norms, ideas, beliefs and values which are reproduced through social practices such as diplomacy and war—that have the most powerful structural influence on international politics. Social structures are also said to construct the identities—and in turn the interests—of actors. Often actors cannot determine their interests without first knowing ‘who they are.’ Their socially constructed self-identity and even their conception of the ‘Other(s)’ thus informs their interests and guides their policies and actions. In this respect, actors follow a ‘logic of appropriateness,’ whereby rule-guided behaviour linked to their identities helps them assess the suitability (in a normative sense) of certain choices and actions. This is a departure from rationalism, which follows a ‘logic of consequentialism’ and asserts that interests are exogenously determined and states interact strategically—as utility-maximising egoists—with pre-existing preferences. An account of how interests are constructed is absent from rationalists’ analytical framework . The second core constructivist assumption concerns the relationship between agents and structures. As Thomas Risse notes, constructivism occupies the ontological middle ground between individualism—which reduces social systems to the agents that make them up—and structuralism, which reduces agents to wider structural forces. Constructivists move beyond this ‘ontologically primitive’ position of reducing one unit of analysis to the other and regard human agents (or states) and social structures as mutually constituted in the sense that while human agents ‘do not exist independently’ from their social environment and collective systems of meaning (structure), social structures themselves are created, reproduced and altered through the knowledgeable practices of purposeful agents. Thus, for example, the structures of intersubjective meanings which influence certain states that believe ‘imperialist power’ constitutes America’s identity are reproduced by the social practice of U.S. military interventions.
Taken together, the two aforementioned core constructivist assumptions—the socially constructed nature of international reality and the mutually constitutive relationship between agents and structures—dispute the materialism and methodological individualism of mainstream IR, particularly neo-realism and neo-liberalism. There are indeed profound deficiencies with these two theoretical approaches, which Ruggie lumps together as ‘neo-utilitarianism’ owing to their shared analytical foundations and a framework based on a micro-economic model that is state-centric, takes international anarchy for granted, and treats the identity and interests of states as exogenously given. States in this model are regarded as ‘rational,’ egoistic actors which utilise their capabilities to realise their preferences and maximise their utility, usually defined materially as power, wealth and security. To the extent that social forces such as norms matter, their influence is limited to constraining the choices and behaviour of self-interested states. This ‘rational-choice’ individualist framework of neo-utilitarianism suffers from two fundamental flaws, identified by Guzzini. First, the core assumption of purely egoistic value-maximisation is contradicted by instances of non-egoistic behaviour in international politics, which is a consequence of the fact that incentives for action are not ‘natural facts’ centred on a single, objective ‘egoist’ model of human behaviour, but are constructs of their social contexts and encompass an array of different emotions (including, at times, benevolence). Indeed, the normative quality of the practical reasoning we employ to reach decisions moves beyond ‘the ends-means nexus of instrumental rationality.’ In response, rational-choice theorists argue that their framework can still encompass altruistic preferences. Once it does this, however, it is stripped of its predictive and explanatory power as it reformulates any action as an instance of ‘rational choice,’ ultimately becoming tautological in the process. Second, its individualist understanding of rules and norms/ideas fails to appreciate their ontologically intersubjective quality. Neo-utilitarianism narrowly regards rules and norms as intervening variables—as ‘naturalised constraints’—with a solely regulative function (e.g. getting actors to behave a certain way). Constitutive rules and norms—which show which practices count as part of a particular social activity (defining the ‘rules of the game’) or define an actor’s identity—are completely absent, limiting neo-utilitarianism to being an analysis of already-existing states interacting under various regulations, unable to account for the origins of what constitutes these states and the international system itself. The assertion that rules and norms derive from material structures (or exert a causal influence only when material imperatives are limited) or are utilised for instrumental purposes by rational actors fails to appreciate this constitutive element of international social structures. Ideas are not merely ‘road maps’ for action that constrain actors, ‘but also constitute actors (and their identities) and enable action.’ They also give meaning to social practices and provide reasons for action. The neo-utilitarian assumption that identities and interests are exogenously determined also creates ‘potentially serious distortions and omissions.’ Indeed, rationalist theories ‘say nothing about who the actors are or how their interests were constituted.’ And constructivism is particularly valuable here as it engages what rationalists ignore: ‘the content and source of state interests and social fabric of world politics.’ In other words, constructivism—with its richer ontology—problematizses what neo-utilitarianism takes for granted (and taking the sources of enmity for granted is precisely what neo-realists Ganguly and Hagerty, discussed earlier, explicitly did with respect to the India-Pakistan conflict) . By doing this it not only improves current understandings of international politics, but also provides ‘new and meaningful interpretations.’
At a deeper level, neo-utilitarianism’s shortcomings stem from its materialist understanding of what are essentially social human (international) relations. By regarding natural science and social science—and the natural world and social world—as essentially similar, neo-utilitarianism’s positivism overlooks one crucial difference between the two; unlike the relationship between subatomic particles and wider physical forces, what occurs in the social world has meaning for its members. Hollis and Smith suggest that people find and express meaning through their experiences; through language; through the context of actions; and through ideas, which give meaning to actions. Even the social meaningfulness of the (mostly) natural world of ‘brute’ facts, which is external to our thinking, depends on our interpretive construction of it; on our shared systems of codes/symbols, languages, and social practices—a point Kratochwil makes when questioning Wendt’s adoption of the ‘scientific’ position. But constructivism also convincingly distinguishes between the natural and social worlds. Aside from ‘brute’ facts, which are thought-independent, constructivists stress the significance of what Searle calls ‘social facts’—such as money and sovereignty—which only exist because we collectively attribute meaning to them. Thus, without the shared systems of intersubjective meanings which sustain its social role, money would merely be a metal coin or a piece of paper. Similarly, a traffic light is not simply a piece of technology that emits light; it cannot be understood without reference to the meaning it has for people, and its role and function within society. In the realm of international relations, things like nuclear weapons and military build-ups cannot be explained by reference to their material make-up alone (their ‘brute’ facts), but by the intersubjective meanings we attribute to them; such as ‘threatening,’ ‘dangerous,’ ‘deterrent,’ ‘stability.’ This is why Pakistan perceives Indian and Chinese nuclear weapons in entirely different ways despite their similar ‘brute’ facts. Without an intersubjective analysis, international relations cannot be sufficiently understood and explained. Even international anarchy is devoid of meaning in the absence of intersubjective understandings based on shared norms and practices; and this is why Wendt and others emphasise ‘multiple anarchies’ operating across inter-state relations, based on different intersubjective understandings of anarchy, which lead to different social outcomes/relationships, ranging from Kantian ‘security communities’ (Europe and the US) to ‘Hobbesian’ conflicts (Pakistan/India). Consequently, as Wendt points out, in order to causally link anarchy and material forces to power politics and war, realists have increasingly relied on social factors to do their explanatory work—for example Mearsheimer’s ‘hyper-nationalism’ and Walt’s ‘balance of threat’—albeit in an ad hoc fashion. But such an approach undermines their own materialist framework, and the increasing reliance on social factors to substantiate what is supposed to be a materialist analysis/explanation demonstrates the extent to which neorealism is a degenerating research programme in the Lakatosian sense. Rather than incorporate ad hoc social assumptions, neorealists would need to exclude them and show the materialist roots of the meanings we attach to material forces in order to challenge constructivism and demonstrate the progressiveness of their theoretical approach; a task they have yet to accomplish. Conversely, constructivists have demonstrated the progressiveness of their approach by providing cogent explanations of important puzzles in world politics which defy previous understandings. Thus, Hopf shows how, contra neorealism, security dilemmas do not occur in many inter-state relationships because of norms: ‘By providing meaning, identities reduce uncertainty.’ This is why, for example, France does not fear British nuclear weapons. Identity can also replace uncertainty with certain insecurity; as with the mutual fear Pakistan and India share with respect to each other’s nuclear weapons programmes. Constructivism can also fill the hole in the ‘balance of threat’ hypothesis by showing that identity determines how states perceive the intentions of others. Indeed, constructivism can offer a far more illuminating framework for analysing South Asia and the India-Pakistan conflict. As Navnita Behera argues, dominant rationalist frameworks (particularly realism) offer very little meaningful understanding ‘of the dynamics of South Asian conflicts.’ Indeed, without exploring identity formation and the relationship between interests and identities, conflicts in South Asia—particularly between India and Pakistan—cannot be sufficiently understood and explained. In this respect, constructivism can offer a more complete and substantive understanding of the India-Pakistan conflict. Despite the apparent suitability of constructivism to the study of the India-Pakistan conflict, however, it has been almost absent in scholarship and research of the conflict. To explain this, I turn to ‘the good norm problem.’
3. Constructivism and Conflict: the ‘good norm’ problem
Despite their richer ontology and more sophisticated analytical framework for studying the various facets of international relations, constructivists have nonetheless tended to disproportionately conduct research on the positive and progressive aspects of world politics—such as security cooperation and the role of global norms in stigmatising the use of nuclear weapons and aiding the demise of Apartheid—which has left conflict and war under-theorised. Kowert and Legro first termed this the ‘good norm problem,’ and several constructivists have since emphasised the need to further explore the social construction of the ‘nasty’ aspects of world politics—such as violent nationalisms and war, and the conceptions of ‘self’ and ‘other’ (identity) which drive them—amidst the continuing constructivist bias and preference for ‘nice’ norms. Indeed, this bias has been instrumental in providing realists such as Mearsheimer with the opportunity to (wrongly) dismiss constructivism as a theory of peace which is ‘radically concerned with changing state behaviour’ while being unable to account for power politics and war—the purported realm of realists. It might also be the case that such an impression has discouraged scholars and researchers of the India-Pakistan conflict from exploring constructivism as an alternative paradigm to rationalist theories. However, as Wendt notes, Mearsheimer’s critique is fundamentally flawed. Constructivism’s focus on social construction is analytically neutral between conflict and cooperation. Moreover, Mearsheimer conflates description and explanation. The former concerns the presence and extent of realpolitik-based practices in international relations. But even if power politics and war occur with regularity, this does not make realism true; the latter’s theoretical value depends on its ability to explain, not merely describe or identify, realpolitik—in other words, on the strength of its materialist explanation of conflict and war, and whether constructivism’s social explanation is superior. Realism, as Wendt and others correctly stress, ‘does not have a monopoly on the ugly and brutal side of international life.’ Thus, constructivists emphasise the ideational structures which lead states to define their identities and interests in conflictual terms. Nevertheless, the ‘good norm problem’ is certainly an issue. This paper will therefore aim to address the constructivist bias for ‘nice’ norms by exploring the centrality of intersubjective social structures in producing the India-Pakistan conflict—with a focus on the role of identity.
4. Producing an Analytic Framework for Identity: Beyond Wendt’s Systemic Theory.
Identities, writes Rogers Smith, ‘are among the most normatively significant and behaviorally consequential aspects of politics,’ and analyses that incorporate them present a powerful challenge to behaviouralist and rational-choice approaches. Constructivists have demonstrated, as discussed earlier, that Smith’s observation extends to the realm of international relations. Accordingly, identity has been a central concept in constructivist arguments, particularly for Wendt and other influential ‘middle-ground’ constructivists. Indeed, the integrity of the former’s theory hinges on the strength of his conceptualisation of identity. But Wendt’s highly-influential conceptualisation suffers from important—even severe—flaws. Thus, this chapter will engage with and critique Wendt’s ‘middle-range’ framework and attempt to formulate a more convincing conceptualisation of identity—as well as its relationship with conflict—based on the insights of alternative accounts. I will also aim to show that rationalist/materialist explanations of identity formation and conflict are insufficient. Before proceeding, it is valuable first to elucidate what is meant by ‘identity.’ Identity essentially refers to our self-conception in relation to others. Identities are not individualistic or personal, but are formed in a social context where individual and collective identities are co-constituted—leading us to identify with “our” social group—and ‘defined [by our] interaction and relationship to others.’ In the same way, national/state identities are also ‘partly formed in relationship to other nations and states.’ Accepting this, Wendt applies symbolic interactionist theory to the systems-level of inter-state relations and argues that states’ social identities—and in turn their interests—are formed and sustained (or constituted) through social interaction with other states; an ongoing process which creates structures of shared knowledge (which are maintained by practices), leading to relatively stable identities as the social system into which states are embedded becomes a ‘social fact.’ If social identities and structures of shared knowledge are competitive and zero-sum, conflict may ensue. However, while difficult to modify, identities ‘are not carved in stone’ and can change through ‘social learning’; replacing, for example, Hobbesian cultures of anarchy and conflict with Kantian security communities. For Wendt, the ‘daily life of international politics is an on-going process of states taking identities in relation to Others, casting them into corresponding counter-identities, and playing out the result.’ In contrast to Waltz’s excessively materialistic ‘proto-theory’ of identity formation, Wendt endogenises states’ social identities and regards them as socially constructed. Thus, ‘anarchy is what states make of it.’ Because he focuses on the level of the international system, Wendt also anthropomorphises states and distinguishes between their ‘corporate’ and ‘social’ identities—the latter referring to the sets of meanings about oneself a state derives from the social structures of international society through inter-state interaction, and the former denoting ‘the intrinsic, self-organizing qualities that constitute actor individuality.’ For states, this means domestic-level elements such as the constituent individuals, physical resources, and the shared beliefs and institutions which confer individuals with a collective function. Crucially, Wendt regards corporate identities as ‘exogenously given’ and ‘ontologically prior to the state system’; in short, as ‘fixed and pre-social entities’. Consequently, and because of his assumption of a unitary state, Wendt also brackets everything domestic.
Wendt’s argument of social identities emerging through systemic interaction and his bracketing and exogenising of ‘corporate’ identities presents serious problems for his framework. As Sujata Pasic argues, by attempting to avoid an ‘oversocialized approach,’ Wendt, in effect, strips identity of its social-cultural content. ‘Social’ identity formation in Wendt’s constructivism is curiously missing a notion of society and is presented as ‘simply a by-product of repeated state interactions.’ Similar to realists/rationalists, then, Wendt’s conceptualisation of identity formation fails to engage ‘the actual social levels of state sociality.’ Indeed, it is difficult to differentiate between identity and behaviour in Wendt’s account; his framework demands us to deduce actors’ self-conceptions/understandings merely from their behaviour. There is thus a compelling argument that Wendt’s conceptualisation of identity does not entail ‘identity’ at all, but is simply an account of behaviour. The ‘centrality of physical gestures’ to Wendt’s framework makes it ‘impossible to analyse identity [formation and] transformation as a discursive process.’ As does his treatment of ‘corporate’ identities. By bracketing the domestic, Wendt omits a considerable amount of the normative content that underlies identity formation and change. Maja Zehfuss demonstrates this by showing how post-Cold War contestations over German identity were not limited to the level of inter-state relations, but were equally present in domestic discourse and exerted a deep influence on German identity construction. Moreover, by joining rationalists in regarding states and their corporate identities as ‘exogenously given,’ fixed and pre-social, Wendt obscures the complexity of identity formation/change and the extent to which corporate identities are not ‘bounded’ categories or spatio-temproally fixed, but are often contested and even unstable; with a profound effect not only on states’ ‘social’ identities, but also in some cases—and this is extremely relevant to explanations of nationalist conflict—their very existence. Cederman and Daase and Pasic thus correctly stress the need to move beyond ‘static [and statist] conceptualisations of identity’ and endogenise and problematise corporate identities; that is, actors’ ‘very existence and extension in space and time,’ including their membership, boundaries, and domestic institutions. Runa Das argues this analytical approach is particularly important in the context of India-Pakistan relations. Contra Wendt, this requires an appreciation of state sociality beyond systemic interaction between fixed, unitary states. Importantly, this analytical shift can be achieved within a framework of constructivism without sliding into postmodern relativism.
In developing such a framework, I draw on sociology, social theory and social psychology by incorporating the insights of four main analytical perspectives—Abdelal et al.’s conceptualisation of collective identity; Cederman and Daase’s application of Simmel’s sociational theory; Peter Gries’s adaptation of social identity theory, and the concept of ‘ontological security.’ While some may criticise such analytical eclecticism, Katzenstein and Okawara offer a strong defense of this approach by arguing that it is intellectually more important to make sense of empirical anomalies than it is to privilege parsimony. I formulate the core assumptions of the model around Abdelal et al.’s framing of collective identity as ‘a social category that varies along two dimensions—content and contestation.’ The aim of the framework is to conceptualise the social construction of identities and its influence on actors, and to demonstrate the impact of contestation on the content of identities and on conflict in international relations.
Content describes the meaning of a collective identity, and may entail four types; constitutive norms, which define the boundaries and formal and informal rules of group membership; social purposes, or the goals that a group attaches to its identity; relational comparisons, through which a group defines itself in reference to ‘Others,’ and cognitive models, which refers to the ‘understandings of political and material conditions and interests’ that are shaped by a group’s identity. Three core assumptions can be inferred from this reading of the content of identities, which I place under two categories: identity formation and influence over actors.
Identity Formation. The first core assumption centres on the argument that identities are socially constructed, and emphasises the ‘social origins of identity.’ Collective identities are not primordial, essentialist or natural—as, for example, Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ paradigm or Posen’s neo-realist reading of ethnic conflict would suggest—but are ‘constructed and reconstructed through historical action.’ Nationalism, for instance, is one key discursive process which constructs national identities around mythical, ‘imagined communities.’ Arguments for unity and the boundaries of community (including nation-states’) are also embedded into these mythical constructions through the use of language, socially meaningful cultural symbols and imagery or ‘frames,’ and narratives of national identity (storylines about a nation’s origins and history). These might be employed strategically by purposeful agents (‘political entrepreneurs’), but such action is not merely instrumental; it can be principled and takes place within a normative structure that enables or legitimises it. The endogenising of corporate identities central to Simmel’s sociational theory—which privileges neither actor nor structure and emphasises the dynamic interaction of both—helps capture this and overcomes the structural-bias of constructivists like Wendt, who have been criticised for paying insufficient attention to human agents. Social psychology perspectives—notably social identity theory—also suggest that we might respond to the mythological social-cultural cues of collective identities and assimilate into groups because of the desire to gain—and maintain—collective self-esteem. The second core assumption, related to the content type relational comparisons, is that there is always an internal-external dynamic to identity formation. Collective identities do not simply emerge from internal group processes. Rather, identities are incomplete without an ‘understanding of oneself in relation to others.’ Several scholars have shown, for example, that European identity construction has always needed—including contemporarily—a constituting ‘Eastern’ ‘Other’. Similarly, central to social identity theory is the notion of the ‘looking-glass self,’ where groups gain knowledge about their own collective identities through comparisons with others, leading to identity formation through in-group/out-group differentiation. In the realm of international relations, Others are also vital to a state’s identity. Carl Schmitt argues that a state’s authority over its self-definition depends on framing Other(s) as ‘public enemies.’ But contra Wendt, states’ ‘social’ identities are also partly the product of the domestic socio-cultural practices that constitute their national identities. Barnett captures the internal-external dynamics of identity formation succinctly with his definition of identity as ‘a relational construct that emerges out of international and domestic discourse and interactions.’
Influence over actors. The third core assumption is that identities shape and influence actors’ actions, interests and understandings of material and economic conditions. Here the content types constitutive norms, social purposes, and cognitive models are particularly relevant. With respect to the former, depending on the degree of internalisation of constitutive practices, norms may influence actors by biasing choice through a ‘logic of appropriateness,’ where behaviour that is inappropriate for an actor’s identity is consciously dismissed. Social purposes highlights the purposive content of collective identities and emphasises the role of identity in leading actors to infuse their practices with group purposes and to interpret the world through frameworks partly defined by these purposes. An identity’s purposive content—based on the notion that who we are influences what we do—thus assists in defining group interests, goals, and preferences, while also producing obligations for the group to pursue practices that increase the likelihood of achieving its set of goals. Purposive goals might range from specific territorial claims to an abstract moral purpose, which Reus-Smit argues deeply influences international state practices and institutions.  Finally, the cognitive content of an identity entails a group’s model of social reality, or its epistemology and ontology. This can be conceived of as a worldview which enables a group to ‘make sense of social, political, and economic conditions.’ Vitally, this cognitive perspective suggests that identities ‘are not things in the world but ways of seeing the world,’ which help us orient our actions and conceptualise ourselves (and Others), and our interests and predicaments or threats; as well as our ‘subjective perception and understanding of [our] communal past’ or history. Actors are not compelled into certain forms of behaviour by material forces or the objective instrumental logic of rational-choice. Rather, as Risse et al. argue, it is ‘collective identities [that] define and shape how actors view their perceived instrumental and material interests and which preferences are regarded as legitimate and appropriate for enacting given identities.’
Contestation (and conflict).
Identities are not ‘natural,’ fixed or stable entities. As Yosef Lapid points out, taking constructivism seriously requires us to treat identities as socially constructed, rather than primordial; as optional, rather than deterministic; as fragmenting/diversifying, rather than integrating/homogenising; and as multidimensional and dynamic, rather than undimensional and static. In short, we must ‘problematize [the] dominant ontology and epistemology of stability and continuity that [has] hitherto informed depictions of… collective identity.’ Thus, the second key dimension of identity is contestation. Abdelal et al. challenge the reifying of collective identities and argue that the content of identities ‘is the outcome of a process of social contestation within the group.’ However, I diverge slightly from this perspective because of its one-dimensional focus on internal contestation, which obscures the importance of external challenges to the content of an identity from ‘out-groups.’ Instead, I frame contestation around Thomas Berger’s argument that cultures and identities ‘are not static entities hovering above society,’ but are reproduced through often imperfect primary/secondary socialisation mechanisms, while being ‘under constant pressure from both external developments and internal contradictions.’ Crucially, utilising social identity theory and sociational theory, I centre the remaining core assumptions of the model on the argument that contestation dynamics are essential to understanding patterns of conflict in international relations, particularly ‘enduring rivalries’ such as India and Pakistan’s.
Social Identity Theory (SIT). SIT emerged as a theoretical approach to intergroup relations in social psychology. Through robust experimental work using ‘minimal-group’ situations, SIT convincingly demonstrated that people seek a positive self-identity through identifying with a group, and favourably comparing this ‘in-group’ to ‘out-groups.’ These comparisons induce potential competition through in-group favouritism and out-group discrimination. Jonathan Mercer applied the insights of SIT to the level of the international system and argued that they provide theoretical and empirical support to neo-realist assumptions about state egoism, inter-state competition and conflict, self-help systems and the pursuit of relative gains—with the desire for a positive self-identity, rather than the anarchic international structure or material economic or security incentives, generating and driving inter-group and inter-state competition. Conflict, argues Mercer, is ‘an inescapable feature of intergroup and interstate relations.’ There are glaring errors in Mercer’s application of SIT, however. Mercer conflates ‘in-group love,’ which SIT emphasises as emerging from in-group favouritism, and ‘out-group hate/dislike,’ which does not necessarily follow from favouritism towards in-groups. Inter-group competition, conflict, and aggression should thus be considered distinct from in-group bias. Many other applications of SIT to IR suffer from similar problems. Peter Gries challenges Mercer on the same grounds and offers a highly valuable framework for applying SIT to the identity-conflict debate in IR. Rather than viewing inter-state/inter-group competition or conflict as inevitable, Gries follows social psychologist Marilyn Brewer’s argument that ‘any relationship between ingroup identification and outgroup hostility is progressive and contingent rather than necessary and inevitable.’ Thus, Gries identifies conditions under which identification with nations may lead to international competition and conflict. To achieve this, he describes a four-stage process, with conflict as the final stage: (1) ingroup identification, (2) ingroup positivity, (3) intergroup competition, (4) intergroup conflict. According to SIT, once people identify with their ‘ingroup,’ they also attach positive attributes to it and favour it over outgroups. This creates a desire for positive social identity, and in order to obtain this and maintain ingroup positivity, groups engage in intergroup social comparisons, a process through which they seek external confirmation and recognition by outgroups of their social identity and the positive views they attach to it. It is these social comparisons processes that lie at the heart of explaining when ingroup identification and ingroup positivity (stages one and two) may lead to intergroup competition and conflict (stages three and four). When ingroup positivity is not affirmed by significant Others, or when outgroups are perceived to impugn or contest the ingroup’s identity, the latter’s collective self-esteem is threatened, and anger and competition might follow. Here, argues Allen Whiting, nations may shift from espousing non-competitive ‘affirmative nationalism’ to competitive ‘assertive nationalism,’ and even ‘aggressive nationalism’:
Affirmative nationalism centres exclusively on ‘us’ as a positive in-group referent with pride in attributes and achievements. Assertive nationalism adds ‘them’ as a negative out-group referent that challenges the in-group’s interests and possibly its identity. Aggressive nationalism identifies a specific foreign enemy as serious threat that requires action to defend vital interests.
Contestation of one’s identity from an ‘outgroup’ through social comparisons is thus a vital prerequisite to competition and conflict. However, Gries identifies three conditions which need to be satisfied for competition to ensue. First, the comparisons must be made with a salient other: an external group that is a relevant and ‘desirable object of comparison.’ With regards to Pakistan, for example, while India is a salient other, Ecuador is not. Second, the comparisons must entail something that is consequential to the groups’ self-conceptions: something each group cherishes as part of itself. For Pakistan and India, this may be the ideological foundations of their national identities; for example Pakistan’s ‘Muslim’ identity and India’s ‘secular’ self-conception. Third, the comparisons must be framed in zero-sum terms. Here, the notion of ‘status’ is particularly important. Thus, under zero-sum comparisons, Pakistan’s status as a ‘Muslim’ nation might require hurting India’s status as a ‘secular’ or ‘Hindu’ nation, and vice versa. One group’s ‘gains’ in this regard will be the other group’s ‘losses.’ All three of these conditions need to be met; if comparisons are inconsequential or not framed in zero-sum terms with a salient other, competition will not ensue. Moreover, even if these conditions are met, competition can be inhibited through ‘social mobility’—denoting ‘exiting’ from a threatened social identity—or ‘social creativity,’ which entails reframing threatening comparisons ‘to allow for positive distinctiveness.’ Therefore, contra Mercer, competition is not an inevitable feature of ingroup favouritism.
Ontological Security and Sociational Theory. But how do we get from intergroup competition to intergroup conflict? Gries does not explore this in detail, but suggests the role of affect—particularly anger—might be crucial. Instead, I join Huysmans, Steele and Mitzen in emphasising the group/state’s need for ‘ontological security,’ which is already implicit in the SIT framework. According to this perspective, states seek more than just the physical security that realists privilege. More importantly, they constantly require ‘ontological security,’ or security and stability in their self-understandings, which Anthony Giddens describes as essential to obtaining a sense of agency and self-identity. States ‘need to feel secure in who they are.’ Deep uncertainty and anxiety—which in my model stems from threatening contestations (internal and external) to a group’s identity—‘renders the actor’s identity insecure’ (thus threatening collective self-esteem). To alleviate this ontological insecurity, states seek a stable cognitive environment. They thus pursue cognitive certainty by establishing routinized relations with significant others (such as those that threaten their ontological security), which in turn leads actors to ‘get attached to these social relationships.’ Crucially, ontological security-seeking can conflict with physical security. If materially-harmful or ‘self-defeating’ conflicts can provide ontological security, states may become ‘attached’ to conflictual relationships because ‘on-going, certain conflict’ is preferable to deeply uncertain self-identities. This creates a sort of implicit ‘dysfunctional [intergroup] collective identity’ centred on physical insecurity and competition; a mutual, intersubjective social structure where each state nonetheless considers itself to be acting alone and contesting the ‘Other.’ In other words, a collective identity without a ‘we’ feeling. Here the traditional ‘security dilemma’ is turned on its head; the certainty conflict provides, rather than uncertainty, can cause and sustain conflict. The need for ontological security offers a powerful structural explanation of ‘intractable conflicts’/’enduring rivalries’ (such as the India-Pakistan conflict) which seem pathological or irrational from a realist perspective—a perspective whose focus on ‘material rationality’ fails to explain the social construction of identities and the role identity plays in producing ‘irrational’ or ‘self-defeating’ conflicts. But the ontological security-conflict relationship also has a crucial internal component at the level of states’ ‘corporate’ identities, which systemic theories omit by reifying nation-states. Threats to self-identity might emanate not only from external others, but also ‘internal others’—a category Steele and Huysmans term internal strangers—who disturb the ‘predictability and continuity’ of a state’s/nation’s self-identity over time; thus endangering the ‘realization of ontological security.’ It is here that sociational theory is especially illuminating, for it also problematises ‘corporate’ identities—the boundaries of groups/nations/states. Rather than reifying the boundaries of nation-states, sociational theory regards spatial mappings as socially constructed. For Simmel, ‘the boundary is not a spatial fact with social implications, but rather a sociological fact that forms spatially.’ This highlights a crucial link between ontological (in)security and ontological survival, which Mitzen and others do not explore. For as Pasic writes, ‘states, even with stores of military might at their disposal, only survive if the historical arguments for unity within them continue to convince an audience.’ Ontological survival in this context is especially pressing when the ingroup and outgroup hold incompatible spatial representations and the situation might involve potential boundary transformations—as is the case with ‘irredentist’ conflicts. Consequently, deep ontological uncertainty—stemming not only from external contestations but also ‘internal strangers’ who threaten ‘national unity’ and identity cohesion—may intensify levels of ingroup discrimination and bias as groups/states urgently seek to establish firm and coherent boundaries. This might be achieved through internal violence—which attempts to secure self-identities through efforts to homogenise populations and utilise violence as a ‘vehicle for social integration’ to ‘defuse the danger that a “foreigner inside”’ presents to the group’s self-identity. More importantly, conflict with an outgroup might also be employed. Here, sociational theory highlights the importance of conflict—as an interaction process with an external Other—in creating the group consciousness necessary for secure identities. For a model of the framework, see Diagram 1.
5. Applying the Framework: Identity and the Enduring India-Pakistan Conflict.
In order to sufficiently analyse and contextualise the India-Pakistan rivalry, it is essential to firstly appreciate the nature of the conflict. As T.V. Paul et al. demonstrate, the relationship between the two states does not constitute an ordinary conflict, but an enduring rivalry, denoting ‘a strategic competition between the same pair of states over an extended period of time.’ While the majority of inter-state conflicts are concluded relatively quickly, a small percentage become enduring, ‘locking’ the competing states into a robust conflictual relationship. These ‘enduring’ or ‘intractable’ conflicts are defined by an ‘outstanding set of unresolved issues,’ ‘strategic interdependence,’ ‘psychological manifestations of enmity,’ and ‘repeated militarized conflict.’ The aforementioned features evidently characterise the India-Pakistan relationship, which has experienced four wars (three of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir), continual crises and hostility, ‘proxy wars’, and has even been on the verge of nuclear conflict (in 1990 and 2001-2). Interestingly, realist and rational-choice approaches have tremendous difficulty in explaining enduring rivalries. For realists, who place material power at the heart of explanations of conflict, enduring rivalries should only take place between states whose material capabilities are relatively similar (major powers, for example). In asymmetric conflicts—such as India and Pakistan’s—where one state possesses a substantial power advantage (in our case India), enduring rivalries should not develop because of the stronger side’s ability to militarily defeat and impose its will on the weaker state. But contrary to realist assumptions, the asymmetric India-Pakistan conflict has endured for over sixty years, despite Pakistan’s repeated failures to militarily defeat or challenge India. Such conflicts appear similarly enigmatic to rational-choice theorists, with some even suggesting that repeated military conflicts are not ‘enduring rivalries’ with strong historical interconnections, but ‘random events’ occurring by chance. However, not only has this argument been challenged empirically, but it also seems ‘ludicrous’ to suggest that India and Pakistan’s various conflicts have taken place ‘randomly,’ with no interconnections. Some realists/rationalists accept the substantive presence of these seemingly ‘irrational’ conflicts, but tend to implicitly regard them as aberrations or deviations from the ‘rational’ systems-level realist logic, and explain them with reference to ‘second-image’ causes such as bureaucratic self-interest.
However, this chapter will move beyond realism’s materialism and methodological individualism and seek to analyse the enduring India-Pakistan rivalry utilising the identity framework developed in the previous chapter—exploring the social construction of both states’ identities and the influence of these intersubjective social structures on their interests, preferences, and understandings of the material world, and, vitally, on their conflictual relationship. It will be concluded that the India-Pakistan relationship constitutes a ‘dysfunctional [intergroup] collective identity,’ characterised by deep ontological uncertainty—stemming from both ‘domestic’ and ‘systemic’ turbulence in the form of threatening contestations to each state’s ‘social’ but also ‘corporate’ identities—and an on-going, zero-sum social comparisons process, with conflict providing an avenue for the realisation of ontological security and the maintenance of collective (in-group) self-esteem. To strengthen my argument and test its plausibility, alternative explanations of the conflict will then be critically analysed, before concluding the paper by situating its contribution within the wider debate on the India-Pakistan conflict and suggesting that constructivism offers researchers the opportunity to introduce IR theory as a serious tool in the study of the conflict without being constrained by excessively materialistic or parsimonious, systemic—and wholly inadequate—theories such as neo-realism.
Indian and Pakistani Identity Formation
In analysing the role of identity in India-Pakistan relations, it is crucial to recognise the socially constructed, as opposed to primordial or instrumental, quality of identity formation. Many adopt a primordialist interpretation and attribute the enduring rivalry to the irreconcilable worldviews of, and entrenched hostilities between, monolithic ‘Muslim’ Pakistan and ‘Hindu’ India—essentially explaining the conflict as an offshoot of Hindu-Muslim communalism. While superficially appealing, this argument fails to account for the centuries of relative coexistence and inter-social, cultural and religious connections and exchanges between generally pluralistic Hindu and Muslim communities prior to the twentieth century. More fundamentally, it ignores the socially constructed, rather than natural, quality of both states’ national and state identities; something this section aims to address, beginning with India. Much of ‘modern’ India’s self-conception was originally formulated around Indian nationalist discourse and spearheaded by the highly-dominant Congress party before and following independence. In particular, Jawaharlal Nehru was pivotal in helping to articulate the central features of Indian identity—not in a liberal-individualist sense, but as a purposeful agent embedded in a social structure consisting of the intersubjective ideas of the wider Indian nationalist movement. The first core element of India’s self-conception was Sarva Dharma Samabhava (secularism), which was key in distinguishing India from the ‘communal’ and ‘reactionary’ Pakistani ‘other,’ highlighting the in-group/out-group differentiation element of identity formation. Indeed, Nehru himself defined India’s self-image as ‘a secular nation’ by differentiating it with ‘[the] two-nation theory which Pakistan is sponsoring.’ The ‘exceptionalism’ of Indian democracy in South Asia as well India’s espousal of non-alignment and its claim to moral leadership in the developing world were the other core ‘differentiating markers’ from the Pakistani ‘other’ in India’s self-image. In addition, India was deemed a modern ‘major power’; a successor to the British with a powerful regional and global mission that reflected its ‘national greatness.’ Narratives and frames were utilised to reify this self-conception; history was interpreted anew and multiculturalism presented as a natural feature of Indian civilisation, while ‘pacific’ ancient cultural and social traditions coupled with stories exalting the glories of India’s past civilisations helped legitimise its ‘benign’ global role in the international system. Moreover, ‘India’ was transformed from a vast land of disparate provinces and princely states—described as a ‘porridge of irregular and improbable jigsaw puzzle shapes’—into an ‘imagined community’ whose territorial borders were naturalised and embedded into the national consciousness through ‘the popular sacralisation of territory,’ embodied in the metaphor of Bharat Mata (‘Mother India’).
While India’s self-image has been based on secularism, Pakistan’s identity was constructed on the mythical narrative of the ‘two-nation’ theory, popularly articulated by the Muslim League, which posited that the Muslims and Hindus of India represented two monolithic, incompatible civilisations who were based, as Jinnah declared, ‘on conflicting ideas and conceptions.’ Crucially, Pakistan’s national (and state) identity as the homeland of India’s Muslims and its self-image as an advanced, modern Islamic state was (and continues to be) constructed against the perceived threat of Hindu (the ‘other’) domination and majoritarianism. Thus, the notion of parity between ‘Muslim’ Pakistan and ‘Hindu’ India has been central to Pakistan’s self-conception. As former Prime Minister Zulifkar Bhutto wrote:
One of the dominant urges for Pakistan has been to dispel the notion of seniority or superiority of Hindu India over Muslim India by creating a Muslim State equal and sovereign to the other State.
Moreover, being different from the Indian ‘other’ has been essential in providing ‘a rationale for the two-nation theory and for Pakistan’s battle for a separate identity.’ Narratives have thus emphasised Pakistan’s Islamic-Arabic roots and ‘[rejected] everything that was Indian’ about Pakistan. Some have suggested the narratives and cultural symbols associated with the ‘two-nation’ theory were merely instruments in the power struggle between elites (and thus without normative content). However, while the ‘two-nation’ theory was certainly employed strategically by political entrepreneurs, such activity took place within a normative structure influenced by a mass, broad-based movement, and arose from a genuine fear of ‘Hindu domination,’ as elements of the Congress-led ‘nationalist-secular’ movement increasingly incorporated ‘Hindu’ symbols and policies. Similarly to India, Pakistan was socially constructed as an ‘imagined community,’ based on the narrative of the two-nation theory. This was achieved not merely through territorial state/nation-building, but more importantly through ‘representational practices,’ that ‘in various ways attempted to inscribe something called India [and Pakistan] with a content, history, meaning, and trajectory.’
The identities of the two states, however, have not been stable and unchanging. Beginning in the 1980s, India’s secularism began to decline and its conception of ‘self’ and ‘other’ was increasingly informed by the discourse of Hindu nationalism framed by the Hindutva movement, which attacked the ‘pseudo-secularism’ of the Congress for purportedly empowering religious minorities, particularly Muslims (the ‘other’), at the expense of Hindus, and sought to ‘re-imagine’ India as a virile and masculine Hindu rashtra (state). Narratives were employed to reconstruct Hindus as a homogenous in-group, with India’s identity being re-articulated on the principle of akhand bharat, or ‘one nation, one people, and one culture.’ Critically, Hindu nationalism was invigorated by the ‘Muslim question’ and Pakistan; the Hindu rashtra was constructed in contradistinction to the Muslim and Pakistani ‘other.’ Hindutva was further empowered by the formation of BJP governments, notably in 1998. Nevertheless, Hindu nationalist parties were compelled to moderate their agendas to remain in power because of the constraining effects of India’s liberal-democratic structures. Thus, rather than forging a Hindu rashtra, India’s self-conception has been defined by the tensions, compromises and even convergences between secular and Hindu nationalist narratives. Pakistan also underwent ‘re-imagining’ in the 1980s, as processes of Islamisation, particularly under Zia-ul Haq, sought to redefine Pakistan’s identity on the basis of orthodox Islam. Madrassas and Jihad symbolised the new discourse, and fresh narratives about the nation’s birth were employed to reconstruct Jinnah and the anti-colonial freedom struggle as Islamists that aimed to establish an Islamic state. Moreover, protecting Pakistan’s Islamic identity and defending its ‘ideological frontiers’ became crucial for achieving national unity and stability in Pakistan’s self-conception. As Zia-ul Haq declared, the ‘preservation of [Pakistan’s ideology] and the Islamic character of the country [is]… as important as the security of the country’s geographical boundaries.’ Islamisation has also been considered vital to the core aim of distinguishing Pakistan from the Indian ‘other,’ which is reflected in the fear that ‘if Pakistan does not become and remain aggressively Islamic, it will become India again.’
Role of identity in shaping actors and foreign policies
The conceptions of identity discussed above have played a pivotal role in shaping both states’ actions and understandings of their material and instrumental geopolitical and strategic interests—or their social purposes and cognitive models—as well as their foreign policies. As Gupta argues, ‘cultural and ideological factors [have been] enmeshed with [the] strategic calculations’ of both states, which is reflected in their respective strategic cultures, which Ken Booth defines as perceptual frameworks entailing the ‘traditions, values, attitudes [and] patterns of behaviour’ of nations—or in Alistair Johnston’s words their ‘integrated set of symbols’—that shape states’ security discourses and interactions (which are not merely determined by the ‘rational’ pursuit of instrumental interests). Within this context, one of the ‘key elements of Pakistan’s strategic culture,’ notes Peter Lavoy, has been opposition to Indian hegemony. This is characterised by what many describe as Pakistan’s primary foreign policy goal; to achieve parity—politically, diplomatically and even militarily—with India, and to eventually balkanise ‘akhand bharat’ (united India) in order to make it more manageable and less threatening. This purposive goal is not merely a prudent geopolitical strategy arising from threats to state survival by a hegemonic neighbour in an anarchic world, but has been intimately shaped by Pakistan’s long-standing self-conception as a strong ‘Muslim’ state that is equal to ‘Hindu’ India and must challenge ‘Hindu’ majoritarianism and domination. For its part, India’s own security and strategic discourses have centred on—even ‘obsessed’ over—the Pakistani ‘other.’ While realist analysts have derided the ‘irrationality’ of this preoccupation with a far smaller power, the strategy has been motivated by India’s self-image as a secular nation that needs to challenge and demonstrate the artificiality of Pakistan’s two-nation theory. The disputed territory of Kashmir attests to the centrality of identity to both states’ geostrategic understandings, for the meaning and significance attached to it has been defined by their respective self-conceptions rather than narrow material incentives. For Pakistan, Kashmir is crucial to its ‘Muslim’ (and pan-Islamic) identity and the two-nation theory, while for India, as former Prime Minister Vajpayee commented in 2002, ‘Kashmir is not a piece of land; it is a test case of secularism.’ Identity has also played a fundamental role in the most significant security issue—the nuclearisation of the subcontinent. As Das and others have demonstrated, India and Pakistan’s nuclear trajectories have been—to a considerable degree—shaped by their self-images. Thus, by pursuing a nuclear capability, India sought to act out its identity as a modern post-colonial state (and indeed a major power) established on the modernist principles of secularism, democracy, and scientific and technological progress. Similarly, Pakistan’s nuclear programme sought to confirm its ‘scientific and technological greatness’ and self-image as ‘the most advanced Muslim country,’ while also being ‘a symbol of defiance’ to the Indian ‘other,’ and furthering its goal of parity with ‘Hindu’ India. Indeed, Pakistan originally contextualised its nuclear policy around its ‘Islamic’ identity, with Bhutto coining the term ‘the Islamic bomb’ and reasoning that:
The Christian, Jewish, and Hindu civilizations have [a full nuclear capability]… Only the Islamic civilization was without it … but this was about to change.
The 1998 nuclear tests further demonstrated how conceptions of ‘self’ and ‘other’ have shaped both states’ security discourses. For India, the tests reflected the increasing salience of Hindutva as a source of Indian identity, as the Hindu-Right BJP government overturned India’s longstanding policy of nuclear ambiguity to showcase the nation’s ‘nuclear teeth,’ dubbing the tests ‘Operation Shakti’ as Hindu nationalist discourse situated it in the context of ‘the cult of manliness and virility’ that defined the Hindu rashtra—in contradistinction to the Muslim and Pakistan ‘other.’ Realist analysts explained the tests as instances of instrumental power politics vis-a-vis Pakistan, and especially China, but this fails to appreciate that the tests were actually strategically counter-productive and not constructed against ‘the China threat.’ Rather, the tests most importantly represented what Talbot terms the ‘Hindutva bomb’—aimed primarily at the Pakistani/Muslim ‘other.’ Pakistan’s subsequent ‘tit-for-tat’ explosions were also framed within the context of its Islamic identity as an advanced Muslim state reacting to the domineering threat of the Hindu ‘other.’ Thus, the tests were constructed as the ‘Islamic bomb’ responding to the ‘Hindu bomb,’ which also reflected the increasing importance of an orthodox Islamic identity to Pakistan’s strategic culture and its foreign policy and security discourses. In India, Hindutva was further energised by the post-September 11th security context, as the ‘cult of manliness and virility’ informed India’s new, more aggressive, policy of ‘coercive diplomacy’ vis-a-vis Pakistan. The Pakistani/Muslim ‘other’ was now constructed as a despotic Jihadi state and ‘the epicentre of world terrorism’; as well as a threat to Indian civilisation.
As the preceding discussion has shown, India and Pakistan’s identities have shaped their respective understandings of the material world, informed their interests and influenced their foreign policy and security discourses. While the previous two section have shown the ‘thick’ content of both states’ identities, the next section will explore the contestation dynamics that have ‘locked’ the two states into an enduring rivalry.
Contestation, Ontological Security and the Enduring India-Pakistan Conflict
As the model developed in the previous chapter established, the desire for a positive social identity drives states to continually engage in inter-group/state social comparisons processes, through which they seek external recognition by significant others of their social identities and the positive views they attach to them in order to maintain ingroup positivity. Crucially, with respect to the India-Pakistan relationship, it is evident that the social comparisons processes that occur between the two states meet the three conditions Gries identifies as necessary to produce inter-state competition when ingroup positivity is not affirmed and a state’s identity is perceived to be contested by the outgroup. With respect to the first condition, the two states undeniably perceive one another to be salient others. Their shared history, proximate geography, the legacy of partition, and the centrality of the ‘other’ in both states’ foreign policy and security discourses, which was discussed in the previous section, attest to this. Secondly, the object of comparisons is certainly consequential to both states’ self-conceptions. Within the context of the India-Pakistan rivalry, social comparisons have centred on the foundational ideas of their respective self-identities; for Pakistan, this has entailed the ‘two-nation’ theory and its self-image as a ‘Muslim’ state that is equal to ‘Hindu’ India, and for India it has involved its secularism and self-image as a modern major power. The dispute over Kashmir demonstrates how both states have sought recognition of the ideologies that underpin their respective identities. India has pursued acknowledgement of its position on Kashmir because the latter—which is the only Muslim-majority state in India—is considered crucial to the legitimacy and integrity of its secular identity. Similarly, Pakistan desires an acceptance of its claim to Kashmir because incorporating the Muslim-majority state into Pakistan would vindicate and fulfil the two-nation theory—the very raison d’être of Pakistan. Thus, Kashmir is a ‘testing ground’ for the legitimacy of the ideational foundations of both states’ self-conceptions. Finally, the social comparisons are also framed in zero-sum terms. For India, its status as a secular state in which all religious groups can thrive necessarily requires it to refute Pakistan’s ‘communal’ two-nation theory, while for Pakistan, disputing India’s secular self-image is essential to validating the two-nation theory and its core assumption that Hindus and Muslims represent two distinct nations—and affirming Pakistan’s status as a strong Muslim state and the homeland of India’s Muslims. Within this context, the affirmation of India’s secular self-image would weaken Pakistan’s two-nation theory, and vice versa. In this respect, as Cohen argues, ‘the very identities of Pakistan and India stand as a challenge to each other.’ This is demonstrable most clearly with respect to the Kashmir dispute, which Hagerty describes as a ‘zero-sum test for each state’s legitimizing ideology.’ In addition to meeting the three conditions necessary to produce competition, there is also no evidence to suggest that the two states have attempted to inhibit competition through ‘social mobility’ or ‘social creativity.’ Rather, both states have intransigently remained committed to their respective self-conceptions, which is evidenced by their over sixty-year long enduring rivalry and the failure to resolve the Kashmir dispute. Therefore, the contestation dynamics central to the social comparisons processes between the two states have assumed a structural quality—characterised by enduring zero-sum comparisons—which has predisposed India and Pakistan to inter-state competition and, to recall Allen Whiting’s conceptualisation, encouraged a shift from affirmative nationalism to assertive nationalism directed at the ‘other’ for impugning one’s interests and identity. But why has inter-state competition between the two states so often—indeed, right from their very inception with the 1947-48 war—been translated into inter-state conflict? Importantly, why is the India-Pakistan rivalry an enduring conflict? Utilising the model developed in the previous chapter, I argue that it is the desire for ontological security (stability in one’s self-conception) in the face of deep uncertainty, anxiety, and identity insecurity—stemming from both ‘domestic’/internal and ‘systemic’/external turbulence in the form of threatening contestations to each state’s ‘social’ but also ‘corporate’ identities—that has driven India and Pakistan towards an enduring conflictual rivalry in the form of a routinzed relationship that seeks to provide a stable cognitive environment for the realisation of cognitive certainty, ontological security and the maintenance of in-group positivity. To substantiate this argument, it is important to firstly examine the two states’ respective cognitive (in)security environments.
Pakistan’s (in)security environment. Any analysis of the India-Pakistan enduring rivalry is incomplete without first appreciating that Pakistan emerged in 1947 as—and continues to be—what Thomas Thornton terms an ‘insecurity state,’ which ‘perceive[s] itself not only small and disadvantaged but on the defensive against a real and present threat, with its survival at stake.’ Rather than simply denoting physical survival, I argue that it is ontological survival—or the continuing existence of Pakistan as a viable Muslim state based on the two-nation theory—that explains its profound insecurities vis-a-vis ‘Hindu’ India. In this respect, Pakistan’s insecurities are to a considerable degree shaped by a longstanding perception—which incidentally is accurate—that India has never truly accepted the partition of the subcontinent, and is actively involved in contesting, undermining and attempting to disprove the two-nation theory (and thus Pakistan’s very identity), which is why it stubbornly holds onto Jammu and Kashmir. As then foreign minister Zulfikar Bhutto argued following the second Kashmir war:
If a Muslim majority state can remain a part of India, then the raison d’être of Pakistan collapses. These are reasons why India, to continue her domination of Jammu and Kashmir, defies international opinion and violates her pledges.
Moreover, Pakistan perceives India not only to be a serious threat to its social identity, but also to its corporate identity—to Pakistan’s very boundaries and spatial representations. Indeed, there is an enduring perception that India harbours ‘Machiavellian designs’ to ‘destroy Pakistan…[and] incorporate [it] back into its own territory.’ However, this is not constructed as merely a physical threat, but as an existential ontological threat to ‘Muslim’ Pakistan from Hindu India, and is situated in the context of India’s purported ‘long-term goal of reuniting the subcontinent under Hindu control.’ The 1971 India-Pakistan war and the consequent disintegration of Pakistan (with the formation of Bangladesh) heightened these insecurities, strengthening the perception that India regards Pakistan as ‘an historical error’ and will seek further spatial/boundary transformations. The increasing influence of Hindutva in India has exasperated these concerns, given the Hindu Right’s interest in potentially ‘wrongsizing’ India’s borders by incorporating Pakistan. Aside from the external threat of India, Pakistan’s cognitive (in)security environment is also shaped by its deeply unstable corporate identity and the threat from ‘internal strangers,’ who, to recall Steele and Huysmans, disturb the continuity of Pakistan’s self-identity and endanger the ‘realization of ontological security.’ In this respect, Pakistan is in many respects what Vali Nasr refers to as a ‘negotiable state’—a state with ‘low levels of institutionalization of its borders,’ continuous threats from disparate provinces and distinct ethnolinguistic groups, and constant ‘reimagining’ of its borders. Indeed, Pakistan has repeatedly failed to establish a ‘hegemonic conception’ of itself, and national unity has often proven elusive. As Surenda Kaushik argues, from its very inception, Pakistan ‘was faced with a conflictual reality of various identities contesting for the central political space.’ The ‘two-nation theory’ has been challenged not only by India and the secession of East Pakistan, but also by the continuous contestations to Pakistan’s self-conception (including vis-a-vis India) from ethnolinguistic groups who oppose the ‘Punjabi domination’ of Pakistan and consider themselves to be ‘nations’, leading some to form powerful secessionist movements—including groups in Baluchistan and Sindh. The ‘four-nation theory’ formulated by the Pakistan National Party, which sees Pakistan as consisting of four distinct ‘nations’ (Sindhi, Punjabi, Baluchi, and Pashtun) is one such example of the continuous ‘reimagining’ of Pakistan and its borders. Thus, Pakistan’s unstable corporate identity and the challenges to its self-conception from ‘internal strangers’ has often posed a serious threat to the ‘realization of ontological security.’ Indeed, some suggest that Pakistan constitutes only a weak ‘imagined community’ that lacks a viable ‘myth,’ and thus its very existence is problematic—highlighting the profound insecurities inherent in its cognitive environment.
India’s (in)security environment. India’s cognitive environment is characterised by similar forms of turbulence. India perceives Pakistan to be an aggressive state that is intent on contesting and weakening its secular self-image and ‘cultural integrity,’ which explains Pakistan’s irredentist claim to Kashmir. According to K.P. Misra, Pakistan wants to ‘forcibly grab Kashmir’ in order to ‘shatter the secular-democratic foundations of the Indian polity.’ Moreover, because of its commitment to the two-nation theory, Pakistan’s very identity is ‘a threat to India’s integrity.’ Pakistan’s quest for parity with India is also perceived to threaten latter’s self-image as a modern major power. The threat of Pakistan’s contestation of India’s secular identity and its consequent irredentist claim to Kashmir also has profound implications for India’s corporate identity, or its boundaries and spatial representations. If Pakistan’s claim to Kashmir on the basis of the two-nation theory is affirmed, and if Kashmir was to secede from India, this would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ and embolden separatist forces across India, potentially leading to ‘the disintegration of the Indian state.’ This concern is pervasive because, similarly to Pakistan, India’s corporate identity is deeply unstable and continuously challenged by ‘internal strangers.’ As Behera notes, there has been immense pressure from within for India to ‘[redraw] its internal political map,’ which stems from the ‘increasingly assertive voices [of] regional and subregional identities’ which contest the central concept of akhand bharat. Maya Chadda captures the inherent insecurities in this state of affairs by demonstrating how India’s ‘supranational State’ is constantly engaged in negotiation and accommodation with various ethnonational units, whom it tries to co-opt—even as the latter attempt to strengthen their autonomy and sometimes demand secession. The balance required in this process is so delicate that an outside power can cause serious destabilisation with ‘relatively little effort,’ as the ethnonational units find it possible to invite external powers in order to strengthen their own bargaining position. This is a further reason why Pakistan, with its long-term goal of balkanising India through supporting secessionist movements, deeply worries India. Aside from the Kashmiri ‘insurgency,’ threats to India’s self-conception as a modernist, secular and united ‘civilisation’ from ‘internal strangers’ can been seen most clearly with the Sikh ethno-religious nationalists, who, while militarily defeated some time ago, still retain the potential for ‘re-imagining Punjab’ and contesting the very boundaries of India. The same can be applied to several regions of India, particularly the north-eastern states. In short, India’s cognitive environment has often been defined by deep insecurities and uncertainties.
The preceding discussion suggests that the cognitive (in)security environments of both India and Pakistan have often been characterised by deep forms of turbulence, as their self-conceptions are contested both from within and without, with irredentism, ‘internal strangers,’ potential boundary ‘reimagining’, secessionism, unstable corporate identities and even issues of ontological survival inducing deep uncertainty and anxiety, often leading to ‘identity insecurity’ and threatening the realisation of ontological security. Following the model developed in the previous chapter, it can be argued that both states have developed an enduring conflictual relationship because it has offered them a more stable cognitive environment for the pursuit of ontological security, a positive social identity and the production of ingroup consciousness. As Stephen Cohen argues, the enduring rivalry between the two states is in important respects a ‘psychological paired-minority conflict,’ characterised by perceptions held by both sides ‘that they are the [ontologically] threatened, weaker party, under attack from the other side.’ In this respect, it is no coincidence that almost all of the wars and militarised disputes between the two states have centred around Kashmir, the ‘battle ground’ for their respective self-conceptions. Conflict over Kashmir provides the two states—particularly Pakistan—with cognitive certainty and a path to ontological security. By sustaining conflict in Kashmir and maintaining its revisionist goals, Pakistan is able to act out its identity as a Muslim state challenging ‘Hindu domination.’ Indeed, as Haqqani argues, ‘conflict with India… [has] become a critical factor in defining Pakistani nationhood.’ If the ‘struggle’ over Kashmir is abandoned, Pakistan’s raison d’être would collapse and it would experience severe identity insecurity. Moreover, conflict with India also helps promote national unity at home and alleviate perceived threats from ‘internal strangers.’
Similarly, conflict with Pakistan enables India to act out its identity as a modern secular state opposing the communal ‘other’—as it did in the 1971 war when it supported Bengali secessionists and dismembered Pakistan with the aim of disproving the two-nation theory. Further, as Chadda argues, a conflictual relationship with Pakistan and an uncompromising stance on Kashmir is to a large extent motivated by a desire to suppress ‘communal’/separatist elements (‘internal strangers’) within India, who find inspiration in the separatist discourse that gave birth to Pakistan and which defines its identity. Conflict has thus provided both Pakistan and India with a greater opportunity to realise ontological security. Thus, to recall Mitzen’s conceptualisation, India and Pakistan have developed a rigid routinsed relationship and a ‘dysfunctional [intergroup] collective identity’ centred on physical insecurity and competition; a mutual, intersubjective social structure where each state nonetheless considers itself to be acting alone and contesting the ‘other.’ This is the security dilemma in reverse; the certainty conflict provides, rather than uncertainty, causes and sustains the conflict. This offers a powerful explanation of why the two states have persisted in their rivalry for so long and pursued what Saiderman terms ‘self-destructive policies’ that are ‘counter-productive to the long-term interests of both states.’ Indeed, Jonah Blank demonstrates that in Kashmir, India and Pakistan operate with ‘utter disregard’ for a long-term strategy or viable conflict-resolution, and often clash over territory with very little strategic value. This state of affairs belies rationalist arguments that rational states should be able to overcome conflicts by updating and learning in response to new information. But as Leng shows, the only learning that has taken place between India and Pakistan has been dysfunctional, with a realpolitik culture pervading their relationship and constricting its range of possibilities. ‘On a deep level,’ argues Mitzen, ‘they [in our case India and Pakistan] prefer conflict to cooperation, because only through conflict do they know who they are.’ General Zia-ul Haq’s answer to a question asking why Pakistan has maintained hostility and conflict with India illuminates this key point:
Turkey or Egypt, if they stop being aggressively Muslim, they will remain exactly what they are–Turkey and Egypt. But if Pakistan does not become and remain aggressively Islamic it will become India again. Amity with India will mean getting swamped by this all-enveloping embrace of India.
However, a number of analysts dispute the significance of identity in explaining the enduring rivalry between India and Pakistan. Some explain the conflict with reference to Pakistan’s dominant regime type—its military. According to this perspective, military regimes have a tendency to pursue power politics and escalate conflicts. Moreover, some suggest that Pakistan’s military is a ‘parallel state’ that pursues its own narrow institutional interests and regards permanent enmity with India as its raison d’être; thus provoking continual geopolitical conflicts with the latter. This is reminiscent of Snyder et al.’s rationalist argument that bureaucratic self-interest drives ‘irrational’ enduring conflicts. Nevertheless, while the military certainly plays a dominant role in Pakistani politics, it would be far too simplistic to argue that this explains the India-Pakistan enduring rivalry. Such an argument ignores that the two states were in many respects ‘locked’ into conflict before Pakistan’s military even became dominant; and that Pakistan’s policy in Kashmir is not merely an institutional interest pursued by the military, but enjoys massive public support. The perceived threat from India and Pakistan’s efforts in Kashmir resonate far more widely within Pakistan than this instrumentalist account suggests. Indeed, the material and instrumental interests of both Pakistan and India, as has been shown throughout this chapter, have been shaped by their respective identities; they have followed a ‘logic of appropriateness,’ rather than a logic of consequentialism. Others offer a materialist explanation and root the conflict in the territorial dispute over Kashmir. For John Vasquez, ideational factors such as culture and identity are not the fundamental cause of the enduring conflict, but are, at best, rationalisations for pursuing control of the disputed territory. However, as this paper has shown, the importance of Kashmir cannot be sufficiently understood unless we acknowledge the significance of it to India and Pakistan’s respective self-conceptions. In other words, it is ideational structures that give meaning to the territory of Kashmir. Neo-realist explanations of the conflict suffer from similar problems. Rajesh Rajagopolan, for example, argues that ‘the source of the India-Pakistan conflict lies in the natural imbalance of power between India and Pakistan.’ By initiating conflict, Pakistan is motivated by the anarchic structure of the international system, rather than any ‘domestic’ or identity-related factors, and wishes to address the power imbalance which threatens its existence. If we recall the critique of rationalist theories in the first chapter of this paper, it is evident that Ragapolan—and indeed Vasquez and others that adopt a materialist/rationalist analysis—ignores or takes for granted the ‘content and source of state interests and the social fabric of world politics.’ The material structure of power in South Asia is given meaning by intersubjective social structures. To paraphrase John Ruggie, Indian hegemony has been every bit as important as Indian hegemony for Pakistan. As this final chapter has demonstrated, Pakistan is hostile to India not simply because of the latter’s size, but because of deep-seated fears of ‘Hindu’ domination and conceptions of ‘self’ and ‘other’ which shape Pakistan’s threat perceptions, strategic culture, foreign policy, security discourses and the conflictual dynamics of its relationship with India. In short, the role of identity is crucial to understanding the India-Pakistan conflict.
Conclusion and contribution
As Paul and Hogg note, mainstream international relations theories—particularly those that offer systemic explanations such as neo-realism—have limited application to the India-Pakistan conflict, which defies a narrow, parsimonious understanding. On the other hand, the analyses of area specialists of the conflict tend to suffer from the opposite problem by offering accounts of the conflict which include a range of idiosyncratic causes without a coherent analytical framework. In this paper, I have sought to avoid both of these approaches and have produced a constructivist analytic framework of identity for analysing the enduring India-Pakistan conflict. Engaging with constructivism in this way has allowed me to avoid conceptualising identity as one of many variables in an idiosyncratic or multivariate explanation of the conflict. Instead, I have drawn on the insights of constructivist analyses and produced a coherent analytic framework of identity for analysing the India-Pakistan conflict. The arguments that I have presented suggest that the role of identity in shaping the understandings, interests, preferences, and conflictual dynamics between India and Pakistan is central to understanding the enduring nature of the conflict. Materialist and rationalist explanations which take identities and social structures for granted inhibit our understanding of the conflict, and international relations’ in general, in serious ways, which has been demonstrated throughout this paper. Thus, it is time for scholars of South Asian international politics to engage more actively with constructivism, because it not only offers a profound critique of mainstream rationalist theories which still dominate India-Pakistan security studies and analyses, but also has terrific research potential and a far richer ontology than rationalism.
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 Ganguly and Hagerty (2005), 14.
 E.g. Behera, ed. (2008); McLeod (2008).
 Farrell (2002), 56; Hopf (1998), 182, 184.
 Adler (1997), 322.
 Guzzini (2000), 174.
 Checkel (1998), 326-327, Ruggie (1998), 33.
 Checkel (1998), 326-327; Jackson and Sorenson (2003), 255-257.
 Reus-Smit (2009), 220-222.
 Wendt (1998), 418-419; Hopf (1998), 173, 178; Guzzini (2000), 164.
 Finnemore and Sikkink (2001), 392-393; Lapid (1996), 7-8; Wendt (1992), 398.
 Jepperson et al. in Katzenstein (1996), Ch. 2 (CIAO).
 Risse (2000), 3-4; Kratochwil (1989); March and Olsen (1989); Muller (2004); Finnenmore (1996); Reus-Smit (2009), 221.
 Risse (2000), 5; Checkel (1998), 326-327; Wendt (1987); Farrell (2002), 50; Reus-Smit (2009), 221.
 Hopf (1998), 178.
 Checkel (1998), 326-327.
 Ruggie (1998), 9; Checkel (1998), 327. For the classic neo-realist text, see Waltz (1979); for the distinctions and debates between neo-realism and neo-liberalism, see Baldwin (1993).
 (2000), 163-164.
 Kratochwil (2007), 510-511; Kratochwil (1989), 12.
 Ruggie (1998), 22-23; Katzenstein (1996), Ch. 1 (CIAO).
 E.g. realists such as Walt (1987), Wohlforth (1993), Snyder (1991), Van Evera (1994) still analyse ideas within a rationalist/materialist framework.
 Farrell (2002), 50-52; Katzenstein (1996), Ch. 1; Kowert and Legro in Katzenstein (1996), Ch. 13; Kratochwil (1989).
 Ruggie (1998), 14-16.
 Kowert (1998), 2, footnote 9.
 Checkel (1998), 324.
 Ibid., 325; Ruggie (1998), 14-16, 27.
 Hollis and Smith (1990), 68-71; Guzzini (2000), 157.
 Guzzini (2000), 159-160; Kratochwil (2000), 94-95. On Wendt see Wendt (1998b), (1999).
 Guzzini (2000), 160-161; Finnemore and Sikkink (2001), 392-392; Ruggie (1998), 12; Searle (1995).
 Hopf (1998), 173-174; Wendt (1992).
 Wendt (1998), 423-424. See also Barnett (1996).
 Farrell (2002), 63-64.
 Hopf (1998), 186-188; Rousseau (2006).
 (2008), 179.
 E.g. Tannenwald (1999), Klotz (1995).
 Kowert and Legro in Katzenstein (1996), Ch. 13 (CIAO); Checkel (1998), 339; Finnemore and Sikkink (2001), 404; Adler (1997), 345-347; Farrell (2002), 58. Adler and Farrell however rightly point out that some constructivists still engage with issues surrounding conflict and war, e.g. Legro (1995), Kier (1995, 1997), Ross (1993), Farrell and Lambert (2001).
 Mearsheimer (1995), 91; (1994/1995), 39.
 Wendt (1998), 420-423; Jepperson, Wendt and Katzenstein in Katzenstein (1996), Ch. 2 (CIAO); Barnett (1996); Chatterjee (2005), 78-79, 81.
 Smith (2004), 302.
 Zehfuss (2006); Jepperson, Wendt and Katzensten (1996); Kowert and Legro (1996).
 Barnett (1999), 9; Hall (1999), ch. 2 (CIAO); Taijfel (1981), 255; Wendt (1994).
 Wendt (1992), (1999), 327-333; Zehfuss (2006), 96.
 Wendt (1999), 21, 327-335.
 Ringmar (1997), 301; Cederman and Daase (2006), 117; Wendt (1992).
 (1999), 21. Wendt defends this as vital to explaining state behaviour.
 Wendt (1994), 385.
 (1999), 328.
 (1996), 50.
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 117.
 Checkel (1998), 341.
 Wendt (1994), 385.
 Pasic (1996), 89-90.
 Zehfuss (2006), 102-103, my emphasis.
 Reus-Smit (2009), 222-223; Copeland (2006), 13.
 See Fearon and Wendt (2002), 63.
 Zehfuss (2006), 103-104, 108-111; Cederman and Daase (2006), 117-118, 121-122; Pasic (1996), 89-90, 101-103; Guzzini and Leander (2006), 89-90.
 (2008), 40-42, (2010), 150-151.
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 119-120.; Pasic (1996), 89-90, 101-103; Lapid (1996), 7-9; Hewitt (1997), xxiv.
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 122.
 Abdelal et al. (2006); Cederman and Daase (2006); Gries (2005).
 (2008), 32. I disagree with the authors, however, when they suggest combining three very qualitatively different paradigms (realism, constructivism and liberalism). The frameworks I have utilised are all constructivist.
 (2006), 696.
 Ibid., 696-700.
 Hopf (2002), 2.
 Huntington (1997); Posen (1993).
 Handler (1994), 27; Lapid (1996); Fearon and Laitin (2000), 848-849.
 Anderson (1983).
 Pasic (1996), 100-103; Barnett (1999); Zerubavel (1995), 214; Ringmar (1996).
 Barnett (1999), 12, 15;
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 123-125.
 Gries (2005), 241-242; Mercer (1995), 242.
 Barnett (1999), 9.
 E.g. Neuman (1999).
 Gries (2005), 240-241; Taijef (1970), (1981); Turner (1985); Turner et al. (1987); Brewer and Brown (1998). See also Volkan (1990, 1998).
 (1927) in Neuman (1999), 11-12 and Kaes et al. (1994) 342-345.
 Hopf (1998), 194-196; Rousseau (2006), 8.
 (1996), Ch. 11 (CIAO).
 Abdelal et al. (2006), 697; March and Olsen (1989).
 Abdelal et al. (2006), 698; Jepperson et al. (1996), Ch. 2 (CIAO).
 Reus-Smit (1999).
 Abdelal et al. (2006), 699.
 Brubaker et al. (2004), 47; Smith (1992), 58; Barnett (1996), Ch. 11 (CIAO).
 (1999), 157.
 (1996), 7-8.
 (2006), 700.
 (1996), Ch. 9 (CIAO), my emphasis.
 See Tajfel (1970), (1971), (1981); Brown (1986); Hinkle and Brown (1990).
 (1995), 233. Also Mercer (1996).
 Strutch and Schwartz (1989); Brewer (1999), (2000); Turner (1978).
 E.g. Hermann and Kegley (1995). The problems with these approaches is pointed out by Goldgeier (1997), 143.
 Gries (2005), 239-240.
 Ibid., 241-242; Mercer (1995), 242-243.
 Gries (2005), 244-245.
 (1995), 295, (1983).
 (2005), 245. Also Tajfel and Turner (1979), 41.
 Gries (2005), 247.
 Ibid., 248.
 Ibid., 250-256.
 Ibid., 256-257.
 Ibid., 241.
 Giddens (1991), 243; Huysmans (1998); Steele (2005, 2008), Mitzen (2006a), (2006b), 344.
 MItzen (2006b), 342.
 Ibid., 342-343.
 Ibid., 360.
 Ibid., 342-343.
 Ibid., 343, 354; Ringmar (1996).
 Huysmans (1998); Steele (2008), 64.
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 127.
 (1996), 102.
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 129.
 Hymans (2002), 14-16; Steele (2008), 64.
 Steele (2008), 64.
 Cederman and Daase (2006), 123.
 Paul and Hogg (2005), 253; Diehl et al. (2005); Paul (2006).
 Maoz and Mor (2002), 5.
 Ganguly (2006), 45.
 For an elaboration of asymmetric conflicts, see Paul (2005), 5; (1994), 20.
 Diehl et al. (2005), 29.
 E.g. Fearon (1995)
 Gartzke and Simon (1999).
 Diehl et al. (2005), 30; Diehl and Goertz (2000); Hensel (1994); Creacenzi and Enterline (2001); Colaresi and Thompson (2002).
 E.g. Van Evera (1999); Jervis et al. (1985); Snyder (1991); Snyder and Jervis (1999).
 E.g. Barnds (1972), 43; Burke (1974), 10-11; Hammond (1992), 545-548. Gellar (2005), 86 describes this interpretation as the ‘conventional wisdom’ on the conflict.
 Hagerty (1998), 64;Hasan (2001), 33-34.
 For a similar critique, see Mitra (2001).
 Ganguly (2002), 8-9; (1994), Ch.1-2.
 Talbot (2000a), 167-168; Talbot and Singh (2009), 155; Jalal (1995a), 236.
 Cited In Hasan (1997), 139.
 Talbot (2000a), 170.
 Cohen (2000a), 38, 51-52; Akram (1987), 167.
 Nehru (1989), (1999).
 Cohen (2000a), 50-52; Das (2009), 399; Commuri (2009), 162.
 King (1998) cited in Sharma (2010).
 Gupta (1997), 23.
 Talbot and Singh (2009), 133.
 Talbot (2000a), 200-201.
 Quoted in Moore (1979), 190.
 Jain (2008), 162-163; Kaushik (2005), 5; Talbot and Singh (2009), 155; Dixit (2002), 15; Kohli (1998), 191.
 Bhutto (1979), 219.
 Tikekar (2005), 193-197; Sharma (2005), 165-166; Gupta (2005), 11.
 E.g. Brass (1979); Gallagher et al. (1973); Jalal (1994).
 Shaikh (1989), 6-8; (2001); Talbot (1996).
 Bakshi (2005), 298-310; Ishtiaq (2008), 35; Nasr (2005), 180-181; Rizvi (1986), 94; Gehlot and Satsangi (2004), 14.
 Krishna (1996), 82.
 Talbot and Singh (2009), 151; Talbot (2009), 175-176; Stein (2010), 410-412; Das (2008), 35.
 BJP (1996), 6 in Das (2008), 58.
 Nasr (2005), 193; van der Veer (1994); Jaffrelot (1999), 522; Hansen (1999); Hansen and Jaffrelot (2000).
 Talbot (2000a), 184, 194; Bhargava (2000), 85; Nasr (2005), 194; Bajpai (1998), 4-5.
 Talbot (2000a), 210; Cohen (2004), 84; Sharma (2005), 167-168; Rizvi (2000), 181; Verma (2001), 73.
 Cited in Rizvi (1988), 242.
 Zia-ul Haq cited in Singh (2010), 425.
 (1995), 36.
Gupta (2005), 11; Booth (1990), 121-124; Das (2009), 395-397; Rizvi (2002), 305; Bajpai (2002).
 Lavoy (2005); Rizvi (2002), 314.
 Paul and Nayar (2003), 86-88; Choudhury (1975), 13; Azam (1980), 141; Pillai (2005), 231
 Dixit (2002), 15; Paul (2005), 18; Jain (2008), 163; Gupta (1998); Gupta, S. (1992), 429; Haqqani (2003), 36.
 Cohen (2000a), 200; Husain (1987), 42; Chari (1987), 54.
 Mohan (2006).
 Bajpai (2002), 259-260.
 Cited in Haqqani (2003), 34; Talbot (2000b), 114; Ganguly et al. (2003), 7; Gupta (1992), 432; Mirza (1998), 120.
 Das (2008), 46; (2010), 149; Abraham (1998), 19; Nizami (2000); Prakesh (1999).
 Cohen (2004), 80-81; Khattak (1996), 346,351; Pillai (2005), 231.
 Bhutto (1969), 151; Cohen (2004), 170.
 Talbot (2000a), 176-177; Das (2008), 35,40,60-61,64;
 Frey (2002), 1,7-8; Talbot (2000a), 177; Das (2008), 64.
 Talbot (2000a), 214; Das (2009), 406-407; Rizvi (2002), 319-320.
 Jones (2004), 8-9, 26-28.
 Malik (2005), 178; Haqqani (2003), 35.
 Pillai (2005), 226; Dudley (2003), 17.
 Behera (2002).
 Ganguly (1994), 10-11; Jain (2008), 164-165; Gupta (1992), 432.
 (1987), 230-231; Faruqui (2000), 50.
 (1998), 67; Cohen (2000b), 45-46; Jain (2008), 164-165; Gupta (1992), 432.
 (1999), 171; Talbot and Singh (2009), 161-162.
 E.g. Behera (2002) argues the Nehruvian strand of India’s strategic culture regards Pakistan and the two-nation theory as artificial and wishes to undermine the latter.
 In Ganguly (2002), 32. See also Gupta (2005), 21;
 Nizamani (1998), 320; Das (2010), 158.
 Leng (2005), 111, emphasis added; Talbot and Singh (2009), 155.
 Hyder (1988), 75; Hewitt (1997), 75.
 Singh (2001); Talbot and Singh (2009), 151.
 (2008), 100-101.
 Ibid., 106-107; Cohen (2004), 93,201,226.
 (2005), 5.
 Ibid., 7-10; Cohen (2004), 201; Nasr (2008), 125; Burki (1999), 21,222; Behera (2006), 100-101; Shah (1997) 83,107; Saiderman (2005), 221.
 Kaushik (2005), 9.
 Jalal (1995b); Nasr (2008), 126.
 Verma (2001), 31.
 (1992), 397.
 Sharma (2001), 73; Cohen (2000), 203.
 Dixit (2002), 15.
 Malik (2005), 178; Ganguly (1997), 128.
 (2002), 363.
 (1997), 6-7.
 Talbot and Singh (2009), 138-140.
 (2000), 198-199.
 (2003), 36.
 Ganguly (2002), 32; Mirza (1998), 1998.
 Cohen (2000), 204; Seethi (2005), 247.
 Ganguly (2002), 51-52.
 (1997), 7-8, 200; Talbot and Singh (2009), 155-156.
 (2005), 203.
 (2003); Ganguly et al. (2003), 12.
 Mitzen (2006b),
 (2006b), 361.
 In Singh (2010), 425-426.
 Tremblay and Schofield (2005), 247.
 Aziz (2008), 24; Siddiqa (2007); Malik (2005), 222.
 Gupta (1992), 441; Faruqui (2000), 50.
 (2005), 67.
 (2004), 164-167.
 (2005), 251.
Written by: Atif Shafique
Written at: King’s College London
Written for: Dr. Julian Reid
Date written: August 2010