This chapter argues for a reconceptualisation of international relations (IR) in the Himalaya. The vast majority of IR studies of the Himalaya focus not on the mountains themselves, but the security interests of the Indian, Chinese and Pakistani states, while neglecting the environment, the historic interconnectivity of the region, local peoples and cultures, and subnational actors. This chapter seeks to disrupt this, by showing the ecological entanglements with geopolitics, focused on Ladakh, India. I first introduce IR theory, so as to sketch out an approach to studying the international which resonates with the goals of environmental humanities. Following this, I present a brief history of environmental state-making in the Western Himalaya, to show how colonial understandings of its environmental and cultural diversity contributed to it becoming a contested, international borderland. I then look at the contemporary transformation of the region, looking at the boom in infrastructure, troops and tourists to the region, and how this contributes to a global–local ecological crisis. The chapter closes with a reconsideration of the entanglements between culture, ecology and international politics in the Western Himalaya.
|Title of host publication||Environmental Humanities in the New Himalayas|
|Subtitle of host publication||Symbiotic Indigeneity, Commoning, Sustainability|
|Editors||Dan Smyer Yu, Erik de Maaker|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jun 2021|
|Name||Routledge Environmental Humanities|