"Anthropologists working on any issue of contemporary identity or politics would be well served to study this volume, as well as van Schendel's original essay and the literature it has inspired. I expect that, armed with this perspective, researchers will find more borderlands than we anticipated while also finding the entire concept of borders and the entities allegedly bounded by these borders increasingly problematic." — Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database
“The most interesting aspect of the volume lies in the variety and novelty of border situations yielded by this region and its diversity in terms of the nature of borders: pre-modern, modern, soft, hard, thinly or thickly populated and also geological, like mountainous or watery, plain or rugged etc.” — Subhadra Mitra Channa, Social Anthropology
“Readers from a variety of theoretical and geographical orientations will appreciate its challenge to nation- and state-centric theorizing about borders. In this, the volume offers a most welcome addition to the literature on life where political and scholarly “areas” meet.” — Sarah Besky, American Ethnologist
"Although the history of Partition, antagonism with neighboring states, and the rich ethnic diversity of border regions make India’s borderlands a unique case, the essays in this volume speak to wider, comparative issues. The book would be significant for undergraduate and graduate courses on South Asia and India, anthropologies of the state, and comparative border studies." — Chad Haines, Journal of Anthropological Research
"Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia is an excellent collection of essays. It not only provides new empirical detail for comparative studies of borderlands globally, but also contributes to South Asian studies broadly conceived, to Indian border studies, and to local social, cultural, and political histories of all the constituent border regions of Northern South Asia." — David E. Ludden, author of Where Is Assam? Using Geographical History to Locate Current Social Realities
"How better to transcend received wisdom about boundaries than by examining the tangled, puzzling, and mind-boggling variety of the 'frayed borders' between South Asia and its northern periphery? Originality, conceptual daring, and penetrating ethnographies undergird both the idea behind this volume and its execution. Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia marks a new stage in the scholarly literature on borders, puts the nation-state in its (modest) place, and will serve as an inspiring and reflective point of intellectual departure for the field."
— James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University
"The ubiquity of borders makes them key sites for comparative social research. . . . If there is one thing that the contributions to this book demonstrate, it is that borders vary locally in terms of regulatory regimes, symbolic significance, permeability, social advantage, and change over time. . . . Until recently . . . social scientists showed very little interest in studying [the borders of Northern South Asia]—let alone in studying them comparatively. As this book shows, that neglect is now a thing of the past." — Willem van Schendel, from the afterword