The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
Muslim minorities in a post-Western world
The project has looked at the quality and management of Han-Muslim and Hindu-Muslim relations. It took on conventional wisdom that Western-Muslim relations are uniquely confrontational within a broader canvas of 'the West against the rest'. The focus was on the pivotal non-Western powers emerging to the east (China) and south (India) of the Muslim world, taking into account Muslim minorities present in these countries. Findings have appeared in a book on Hindu-Muslim relations, an article on Han-Muslim relations, and another article on China’s relations with its Muslim-majority neighboring countries (see Related Publications, below).
Overall, it seems that relations between Muslim minorities and non-Muslim majorities are invariably challenging, but there is remarkable variation in the kind of challenges such relations pose and the way they are managed. For example, the challenges posed by Uyghur ethno-religious nationalism in China are different from those posed by China's largest Muslim minority, the 'Sinicized' Hui. In India, Congress-style secularists and Hindu nationalists have different ideas on how to manage relations with Muslims.