In this course we will familiarize ourselves with the complex politics of South Asia, a region home to one-fourth of the world’s population. We begin by identifying what “South Asia” means according to certain powers who have used the term to mean different things according to historical moment. In doing so, we will begin to understand the major differences between and within countries in South Asia and some of the major causes of these differences. Although many of the countries have colonial pasts that might bring them together, more recently,political trajectories have included monarchies, military dictatorships and varying levels of democratic rule. As we explore these differences we will gain basic literacy in South Asian politics, such that we can critically consume of both journalistic and academic articles related to the region.