The rise of majorities and emerging existential threats to India and China

Castellino, Joshua (2021) The rise of majorities and emerging existential threats to India and China. The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law, 8 (3) . pp. 538-557. ISSN 2050-4802 [Article] (doi:10.1093/cjcl/cxaa018)

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China and India are comparable in size, complexity, and their relatively recent state-building histories. Commencing in 1947 and 1949 the relatively recent foundations of India and China respectively, highlighted a ‘unity in diversity’ message. The significance of this lay as much in ideology, as in a pragmatism that was both central, and relatively successful in bringing what could be argued as many civilisations, into singular modern states. While the messages about diversity have always been contested in some quarters by rival ethno-nationalists, they remained significant in laying the foundations for a strong ‘national’ identity. To the majority populations, Hindu in India, Han in China, they called for restraint to any triumphalism or chauvinism; to the minorities they called for unshakeable loyalty in return for full citizenship rights. In both cases these messages were backed by constructive affirmative action measures that, irrespective of their efficacy, served to emphasize the ‘unity in diversity’ message, sowing a degree of fealty towards the state, over what may have been more prominent and compelling ethno-religious or ethno-linguistic cleavages. In recent years however this message has been significantly altered, as political majoritarianism has begun to oust legally or administratively determined minority protections. This essay seeks to offer an assessment of the potential impact on this phenomenon on each country, arguing that it has contributed to instability, sowing seeds for the rise of opposing sub-national identities that the founding parents of each state actively sought to counter in their statecraft.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue date: December 2020
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 29890
Notes on copyright: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law following peer review. The version of record Joshua Castellino, The Rise of Majorities and Emerging Existential Threats to India and China, The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law, Volume 8, Issue 3, December 2020, Pages 538–557, is available online at: and on the OUP website
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Depositing User: Joshua Castellino
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2020 10:53
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 12:29

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