KCL Event: South Asia Unbound: Within and beyond foreign affairs ministries: Institutions of international relations in South Asia

Conveners: The New International Histories of South Asia (NIHSA) network

Speakers: Tanja Bührer (University of Bern); Swati Chawla (O.P. Jindal Global University); Marc Reyes (University of Connecticut)

Chair: Avinash Paliwal (SOAS)


International historians have shown that governmental and nongovernmental organizations, most prominently the League of Nations and United Nations, have played key roles as both actors and arenas for internationalism. This panel studies the institutions created within South Asia as tools of global outreach, as well as the ways South Asians engaged with extant institutions for internationalist aims. Collectively, this theme explores institutions as spaces of internationalism while also using them to reflect on different scales of global engagement.


Tanja Bührer (University of Bern), "Foreign Relations between the British East India Company and South Indian States and the Global Transformations of Internationalism during the Long Nineteenth Century"

Swati Chawla (O.P. Jindal Global University), “Himalayan, not Chinese or Indian: Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet at the Twilight of Empire, 1946-49”

Marc Reyes (University of Connecticut), “In the Circle of Great Powers: India's National and International Quest to Master the Atom"


Avinash Paliwal (SOAS)



Covid19 has forced us to think creatively about how to organise academic events. Each "South Asia Unbound" event will be organised as follows:

  • A week before the event, each panellist will post a short video presentation on this page for the audience to watch and ponder at their leisure;
  • The event itself will take the shape of an extended Q&A session with the audience.

In other words: if you want to attend, make sure not just to register for the panels but also to watch the videos in the week before. You'll receive details on how to attend once you've registered.

For more information, see the main South Asia Unbound Conference Website.

This event series is organised by NIHSA - the New International Histories of South Asia network.