South Asia


Bordered by the Himalayas in the north and Afghanistan in the west, South Asia consists primarily of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. RAND research in the region is wide-ranging, focusing on security concerns and nuclear proliferation, economic development and labor market dynamics, child and family well-being, and health and education systems.

  • A cityscape of Shanghai


    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

    Mar 14, 2018

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy improves policy by providing decisionmakers and the public with rigorous, objective, cutting-edge research on critical policy challenges facing Asia and U.S.-Asia relations.

Explore South Asia

  • Research Brief

    China and India: The Asian Giants are Heading Down Different Demographic Paths

    Discusses contrasting demographic trends in China and India through 2025 and what these imply for each country's economic performance.

    Aug 22, 2011

  • Journal Article

    The Terrorist Threat from Pakistan

    Despite an air of Western triumphalism over bin Laden's killing, Pakistan remains a major hub of international terrorism, especially for groups plotting attacks against Western countries.

    Aug 1, 2011

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    Mumbai Rising? India's Economic Rise and the United States

    On August 26, 2010, the RAND Corporation presented Mumbai Rising? as part of its public outreach series in Santa Monica, California. Economist Krishna B. Kumar discussed India's impact on the global economy and the implications of India's economic rise for the United States.

    Jul 28, 2011

  • Commentary

    Obama on Afghanistan: Strategic Drawdown or Rush for the Door?

    Most major plots and attacks, including 9/11 and 7/7, were directly linked to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Travel there has been essential to improving bomb-making skills, receiving strategic and tactical guidance, and undergoing religious indoctrination, writes Seth Jones.

    Jun 23, 2011

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    After bin Laden: The United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan

    On June 16, 2011, the RAND Corporation presented "After bin Laden: The United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan" as part of its public outreach series in Santa Monica, California. The program featured senior political scientist Seth Jones, an expert on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and al Qa'ida who has worked abroad in conflict zones over the last several years.

    Jun 16, 2011

  • Commentary

    Should the U.S. Cut Off Aid to Pakistan?

    It makes little sense to abandon Pakistan and cut off all financial assistance...but America could reduce part of its security assistance, focusing instead on economic and humanitarian aid, writes Seth Jones.

    May 10, 2011

  • Commentary

    Arab Spring, not Osama bin Laden's Fall, Will Determine Middle East's Fate

    The unanswered question is just what will endure in the Arab world: comparatively peaceful demonstrations leading to regime change, or brutal tactics by authoritarian regimes to crush dissent and cling to power, writes John Parachini.

    May 9, 2011

  • Multimedia

    Brian Michael Jenkins Discusses the Death of bin Laden and Prognosis for al Qaeda

    Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser at the RAND Corporation, spoke with RAND media relations director Jeffrey Hiday about the death of Osama bin Laden and how it might affect al Qaeda, the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, and more.

    May 3, 2011

  • Commentary

    The World after bin Laden

    What's needed is an international conference of all the regional players that have a greater stake in the outcome of the Afghan/Pakistan conflict than does the U.S., writes David Aaron.

    May 3, 2011

  • Testimony

    The Al Qa'ida Threat in Pakistan

    Even before the killing of Osama bin Laden, with the growing instability across the Arab world, some argued that the primary al Qa'ida threat now comes from the Persian Gulf or North Africa. While these regions certainly present a threat to Western security, al Qa'ida's primary command and control structure remains situated in Pakistan.

    May 3, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Identifying the Aggregate Productivity Effects of Entry and Size Restrictions: An Empirical Analysis of License Reform in India

    This paper proposes a simple methodology that empirically identifies the separate effects of entry and size restrictions on aggregate productivity, and uses it to analyse the impact of a policy reform in India.

    May 1, 2011

  • Commentary

    Beating Back the Taliban

    There is a growing recognition among senior Taliban leaders that they are losing momentum in parts of southern Afghanistan, their longtime stronghold, writes Seth Jones.

    Mar 14, 2011

  • Woman working on TMSS supported, WB funded cucumber farming project


    Survey in Rural Bangladesh Explores Life-Cycle and Aging

    The Matlab Health and Socio-economic Survey, conducted in 1996, provides a unique microlevel data set for research on aging. In particular, these new data will support in-depth analyses — not possible with existing survey data — on interrelated topics having to do with life-cycle investments in the physical, economic, and social well-being of adults and the elderly.

    Feb 2, 2011

  • Journal Article

    High Prevalence of Wuchereria Bancrofti Infection as Detected By Immunochromatographic Card Testing in Five Districts of Orissa, India, Previously Considered to Be Non-Endemic

    Lymphatic filariasis is endemic in districts of India where control programs are not operational.

    Jan 31, 2011

  • Commentary

    Book Review: 'Fallout' by Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz

    Anyone concerned about nuclear proliferation or interested in the world of espionage will want to read Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz's provocative new book, "Fallout: The True Story of the CIA's Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking," which tells a fascinating story whose characters come straight out of a spy novel, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jan 9, 2011

  • Commentary

    Our Foes Cannot Destroy This Nation

    We have come through wars, depressions, natural and man-made disasters, indeed higher levels of domestic terrorist violence than that we face today, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Sep 27, 2010

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 2010

    Features discuss retirement patterns of baby boomers, marijuana legalization, drug enforcement in Europe, and No Child Left Behind; news items cover the Gulf coast, food allergies, the U.S. health reform law, police benefits, and Pakistani militants.

    Aug 14, 2010

  • Commentary

    A Bottom-Up Peace in Afghanistan

    The Afghan government has embarked on a high-stakes gamble: Try to negotiate with the leaders of the various insurgent networks to end the nine-year-old Afghan war. The notion of the Kabul government cutting a deal with the Taliban is fiercely controversial, write Wali Shaaker and John Parachini.

    Jul 15, 2010

  • Report

    Counterinsurgency in Pakistan

    The rising number of terrorist plots in the United States with links to Pakistan—most recently the failed car-bombing in New York City—is partly a result of an unsuccessful strategy by Pakistan and the U.S. to weaken the range of militant groups operating in Pakistan.

    Jun 2, 2010

  • Report

    Building Security in the Persian Gulf

    The U.S. must determine how best to promote long-term security and stability in the Persian Gulf region while seeking to reduce the risks and costs imposed by its role as a permanent regional power—particularly vis-à-vis Iraq's future, the role of Iran, asymmetric threats, regional tensions, and the roles of other external actors.

    May 18, 2010