Throughout South and Southeast Asia, groups battle over definitions of identity - in direction and character - for their state, a struggle complicated by the legacy of colonialism. The contributors to this volume explore the intricate, dynamic relationships that pertain between women's agency and the state-making institutions and armed forces of Kashmir, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Burma (Myanmar). They also address the complex roles of Islam, Hinduism, and Theravada Buddhism in these postcolonial dynamics. In particular, the contributors examine religion as a way of understanding how women's agency is constituted, created, and constrained during times of conflict with the state and other armed actors, such as guerilla groups and paramilitaries. These essays at the intersection of gender, religion, and peace studies will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students who study conflict and hope for peace in South and Southeast Asia.
Monique Skidmore is a Fellow in the Research School of Humanities and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University. She is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including Burma at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Patricia Lawrence teaches peace and conflict studies and anthropology at the University of Colorado. She is the author and co-author of a number of books and scholarly articles, including the forthcoming Intervention Before Violence.