International Conference

Security Challenges in South Asia

Madrid, Spain

17-18 September, 2015 (Thursday/Friday)

organized in cooperation with Casia Asia, Spain

The Faculty of Political Sciences, the University Complutense de Madrid



South Asia has been a focus of attention of researchers, political scientists, sociologists etc. for a range of reasons, primarily due to its economic growth and its emerging role as a global actor.

Other reasons pose challenges to the positive prospects, and include volatile political situation, problem of terrorism, religious radicalisation, growing insurgency and role of non-state actors, economic destabilization, demographic pressure, regional frictions, communal violence, ecological degradation, exploitation of natural resources often without any benefits for the local population, unresolved territorial and border issues, nuclear factor, persisting distrust between the states, etc. These challenges and developments can be viewed as detrimental to regional or sub-regional security architecture, protection of human rights and civil liberties, strengthening of transparency and democratic institutions, pursuing economic development.

How could security in South Asia be defined? What can currently be considered as most serious challenges that undermine security in the region? What are the roots and implications of frictions, tensions and conflicts which pose a growing challenge to regional security? How can these factors which undermine stability and development in South Asia be structured and analysed?

South Asia is often perceived as primarily a black-and-white game of two actors: India and Pakistan, the former being considered as growing power,  largest democracy in the world and exporter of democracy to the region, the latter as “the eye of the storm”, the country on the brink of collapse, torn by political turmoil and jihadi movements, whereas the other countries of the region are assumed to play merely the role of satellites revolving round the “binary star”. Is this picture a simplification and if so, to what extent?

How can security be defined and what does it rest on? On sheer military force? What role do economic factors play? Is security a value and a goal in itself? Are human rights and civic liberties important for regional security, stability and strengthening cooperation in South Asia? To what extent the restrictions of civil liberties and abuses of human rights affect regional security? What is the role of the governments in dealing with these issues and how has the situation evolved over the last decades?

What are the actual actors in the South Asian political game? What issues and values are at stake in regional rivalries and competitions, which are relevant for regional security? How important is security and stability of South Asia from a global perspective? How unresolved border disputes are being resolved or aggravated? How do they affect security in South Asia? Is there any solution which can be seriously recommended in the hope of resolving such tensions? To what extent can they influence local self-determination/separatist movements and lead to a process of state disintegration? How are the disputes over water and other natural resources a powerful political weapon? How should we analyze the role of nuclear power in the context of war-prone regional situation and its impact on the regional system of security? Which factors can positively contribute to regional security and cooperation? These are just some examples of issues which may be discussed and analysed in the proceedings of the conference.

The conference provides a forum for analysis, discussion and exchange of opinions of leading scholars working on South Asia.




We welcome participants in two categories:

(1) Speakers who present their papers (up to 15-20 papers), and

(2) General audience who participates without presenting a paper.




As a rule, 30 minutes are allotted for each paper (20 min) and an accompanying discus­sion (10 min). There will be enough time for unrestricted discussion and personal contact during the conference as well. Our intention is to avoid a hasty and stressful succession of numerous papers in a day but, instead, to provide relaxed atmosphere for fruitful exchange of thoughts and ideas in a pleasant historical environment.

Short abstracts will be expected by 1 June, 2015.

Papers will be subsequently published in a separate conference volume.




The Conference will take place on 17-18 September, 2015 (Thursday/Friday). The Conference is planned for two days. You will be expected to arrive a day before (16 September, 2015).




The conference will take place in Madrid at Casa Asia (, Spain, in the picturesque heart of the old city of Madrid.

The address is: Casa Asia, Palacio de Cañete, Calle Mayor, 69, 28013 Madrid.

For exact location   CLICK HERE 




Please kindly register by filling in the Registration Form (at the bottom) and sending it to the address:




There is no conference fee.

Participants are however requested to cover the costs of the accommodation, meals etc. during the conference themselves. However, the organizers will assist in arranging the accommodation.




Contact to the Organisers:


Dr. Eva Borreguero

Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain



Prof. Dr. Piotr Balcerowicz

Chair of South Asian Studies

Faculty of Oriental Studies

University of Warsaw, Poland



 The conference is organized in cooperation with:





The current conference is a continuation of a collaboration which resulted, for instance, in the International Conference “World view and theory in Indian philosophy” in Barcelona, Spain (

In addition, Piotr Balcerowicz has organised / co-organised a number of other international conferences related to South Asia such as:

— “India: Art, Cultural Heritage & Polish-Indian Artistic Relations” in 2014 (,,

— “South-East Asia: Art, Cultural Heritage, and Artistic Relations With Europe/Poland” in 2011 (

— “Logic and Belief in Indian Philosophy" in 2006 (,

— “Argument and Reason in Indian Logic” in 2001 (,

— “On Understanding Other Cultures” in 1999 (






International Conference: Security Challenges in South Asia

Madrid (Spain), 17-18 September, 2015 (Thursday/Friday)



Name and Surname:

University / Address:


I wish to present a paper: YES / NO (delete inapplicable)

(Tentative) Title of the paper:

Abstract (by 1 June, 2015):



Please kindly return to:


Download REGISTRATION FORM:                          






(the list is not complete or final)



Rahul Bedi, journalist, India


Zahid Hussain, journalist, Pakistan


Nitasha Kaul, University of Westminster, London, UK

paper: “Kashmir as a Challenge to the Sovereignty-Security Nexus


Muhammad Arif Rana (Arif Taj), Department of Philosophy, FG College (affiliated to Quaid-i-Azam University), Islamabad, Pakistan

paper: "Militancy as a valve to restrict democracy in Pakistan and peace in South Asia"


Mario Esteban Rodríguez, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain


Lawrence Saez, Department of Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK

paper: "China as 'Offshore Balancer' and South Asia’s Regional Security Complex"


Ajai Sahni, Institute for Conflict Management & South Asia Terrorism Portal, South Asia Intelligence Review, Delhi, India

paper: "South Asia: Evolving Threat of Islamist Terrorism"


Amaia Sánchez Cacicedo, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), London, UK

paper: “India’s security contradictions: a global emerging vs. regional role


Johannes Dragsbæk Schmidt, Department of Political Science, Aalborg University, Denmark

paper: “The Internal and External Dimensions of Security in the Himalayas. From non-alignment to multi-alignment


Emily Winterbotham, Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall, London, UK

paper: “Ghani’s Peace Process: Strategic regional alignment or dangerous appeasement?"


Eva Borreguero, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain


Piotr Balcerowicz, University of Warsaw, Poland

paper: “The legal status of Kashmir within the policies of India and Pakistan







          DAY ONE: 17 September (Thursday), 4:30–6:50 pm (afernoon)                                                       

          4:30–6:50 pm – opening & first session

          [time in New Delhi: 7:30–10:20 pm]

          [time in Islamabad: 7:00–9:40 pm]


4:30–4.45 pmopening of the conference

opening words: the director of Casa Asia, Eva Borreguero, Piotr Balcerowicz


4.45–6:45 pm first session

4.45–5:25 pm: Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt: “The Internal and External Dimensions of Security in the Himalayas. From non-alignment to multi-alignment” (paper and discussion)

5:25–6:05 pm: Amaia Sánchez Cacicedo: “India’s security contradictions: a global emerging vs. regional role” (paper and discussion)

6:05–6:45 pm: Lawrence Saez: "China as 'Offshore Balancer' and South Asia’s Regional Security Complex" (paper and discussion)



          DAY TWO: 18 September (Friday), 10:00 am – 14:40 pm                                                                  

          10:00 am – 2:40 pm — second & third sessions


10:00 11.40 am morning (second) session / Skype panel:

[time in New Delhi: 1:30–3:10 pm]

[time in Islamabad: 1:00–2:40 pm]

10:00–10:20 am: Zahid Hussain (20 minutes)

10:20–10:40 am: Rahul Bedi (20 minutes)

10:40–11:00 am: Muhammad Arif Rana (Arif Taj): "Militancy as a valve to restrict democracy in Pakistan and peace in South Asia" (20 minutes)

11:00–11:20 am: Ajai Sahni (20 minutes)

  11:20–11:40 am: general discussion (20 minutes)


11.40 am 12:00: coffee / tea break


12:00 2:40 pm afternoon (third) session:

12:00–12:40 pm: Emily Winterbotham: “Ghani’s Peace Process: Strategic regional alignment or dangerous appeasement?" (paper and discussion)

12:40–1:20 pm: Nasim Zehra, paper to be announced (paper and discussion)

1:20–2:00 pm: Nitasha Kaul: “Kashmir as a Challenge to the Sovereignty-Security Nexus” (paper and discussion)

2:00–2:40 pm: Piotr Balcerowicz: “The legal status of Kashmir within the policies of India and Pakistan” (paper and discussion)


2:40 pm: final words


Programme liable to change