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JSPES, Vol. 45, No. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 2020)
pp. 260-287

In Pursuit of Integration: Is South Asia Unfit for Regionalism?

Srimal Fernando and Pankaj Jha

O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India

The establishment of regional groupings has become increasingly common, especially amongst developing countries. The formation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 1985 ushered in the era of institutionalized regionalism in South Asia. However, as a regional institution the SAARC has yet to fully achieve its objectives after three decades of its establishment. This raises the question: why has regionalism in the South Asian region under the SAARC framework failed to deliver substantial achievements? A secondary question arises: how can the SAARC cope with the changing dynamics of the region? In this paper, we will address both questions relying on interviews with informed individuals as well as documentary evidence from primary and secondary sources.