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Conflict in Kashmir and Manipur: history, ethnicity, gender

Seema Kazi (Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), New Delhi, India)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 11 April 2022

Issue publication date: 3 January 2023




This paper aims to focus on the conflict in the Indian states of Kashmir and Manipur. It situates both conflicts within a historical frame to underscore their origins in history. Using a comparative, inter-disciplinary lens, the paper foregrounds the political, empirical and gendered similarities in both conflict zones. The human cost of modern India’s project of integrating historically autonomous, ethnically distinct and geographically disparate regions of Kashmir and Manipur is illustrated. By way of conclusion, the paper suggests institutional respect for, and accommodation of, ethnic minority history, identity and aspiration, as an ethical, democratic way forward towards conflict resolution.


The paper uses a relatively lesser used comparative, critical inter-disciplinary approach towards examining ethnic conflict. Contrary to ahistorical normative approaches focused on individual ethnic conflict, or the conventional assumption that the ethnic conflicts in India are necessarily mutually exclusive, this paper uses a comparative frame to underscore the shared historical origins and common empirical realities of the conflicts in Kashmir and Manipur. This particular approach reframes conventional epistemic debates on conflict in ways that offer a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the same.


This paper underscores the critical importance of a historically informed approach to conflict and conflict resolution in India’s ethnic borderlands. Challenging statist approaches based on coercion and repression, the paper underscores the need for respect and accommodation of ethnic minority history, identity and aspiration as essential conditions towards a just and enduring peace in both regions.


With exceptions, a comparative approach to conflict studies in India is relatively rare. To this extent, this paper diverges from mainstream approaches. Further, in contrast to studies focused on individual conflicts examined within a single disciplinary analytic frame, this paper uses an inter-disciplinary, intersectional approach to conflict studies. By capturing the converging historical political, social, human and gendered fields of conflict in Kashmir and Manipur, this paper offers a richer, more sophisticated understanding of the character of conflict in India.



Kazi, S. (2023), "Conflict in Kashmir and Manipur: history, ethnicity, gender", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 39-50.



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