April 2024

5:00 PM IST

Online Via Zoom


Borderless Risks in Himalayan Geopolitics, Past and Present

Perceptions of Risk in the Himalayas
Kyle Gardner | Senior Fellow, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council

Kyle Gardner

Senior Fellow
South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

This talk will draw on the presenter's recent book, The Frontier Complex: Geopolitics and the Making of the India-China Border, 1846–1962, to explore the paradox of how the least "risky" colonial-era frontier in South Asia should have become one of the region's greatest sources of persistent geopolitical tension. The first part of the talk will outline the major pre-1947 causes of the India-China border dispute in Ladakh, a region assumed by colonial administrators to be an idea "border making" laboratory given its relatively low risk frontier. The second part will examine the contemporary risks generated by this historical legacy. 

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Kyle Gardner

Kyle Gardner is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He also leads public policy for Google in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, and Mongolia. Prior to Google, Gardner was a senior associate at McLarty Associates, where he helped companies navigate policy issues across South Asia. Before joining McLarty in 2019, he taught South Asian history at the University of Chicago. Gardner has written extensively on South Asian history and politics. His book on the India-China border, The Frontier Complex: Geopolitics and the Making of the India-China Border, 1846–1962, was published worldwide by Cambridge University Press in 2021. His book received honorary mention for the 2023 Fisher Book Prize from the Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies. He has published articles in The Atlantic, Hindustan Times, The Diplomat, HIMALAYA, The Wire, The Historical Journal and other publications. He received a PhD, with distinction, from the University of Chicago, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a BA, with high honors, from Wesleyan University. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.