rvenkat + asia   8

Secular Party Rule and Religious Violence in Pakistan | American Political Science Review | Cambridge Core
Does secular party incumbency affect religious violence? Existing theory is ambiguous. On the one hand, religiously motivated militants might target areas that vote secularists into office. On the other hand, secular party politicians, reliant on the support of violence-hit communities, may face powerful electoral incentives to quell attacks. Candidates bent on preventing bloodshed might also sort into such parties. To adjudicate these claims, we combine constituency-level election returns with event data on Islamist and sectarian violence in Pakistan (1988–2011). For identification, we compare districts where secular parties narrowly won or lost elections. We find that secularist rule causes a sizable reduction in local religious conflict. Additional analyses suggest that the result stems from electoral pressures to cater to core party supporters and not from politician selection. The effect is concentrated in regions with denser police presence, highlighting the importance of state capacity for suppressing religious disorder.
secularism  the_civilizing_process  political_science  extremism  causal_inference  asia  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
How Social Media Spurred Violence Against Rohingya in Myanmar — Refugees Deeply
Did social media _cause_ this violence? Do social media (spur)cause nationalism, in the absence of other socio-political conditions?
asia  burma  ethnic_cleansing  race  discrimination  misinformation  disinformation  nationalism  religion  networked_public_sphere  social_media  extremism  epidemiology  norms  democracy  via:zeynep 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Starr, S.: Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. (eBook, Paperback and Hardcover)
In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China.

Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects. They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth's diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world's greatest poetry. One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America--five centuries before Columbus. Rarely in history has a more impressive group of polymaths appeared at one place and time. No wonder that their writings influenced European culture from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas down to the scientific revolution, and had a similarly deep impact in India and much of Asia.

Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike
book  history  enlightenment  islam  asia  economic_history 
june 2017 by rvenkat

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