This chapter first defines the problem with the existing research on the region, which treats the Northeast region as a single unit. It then summarizes the history of conflicts in the region and in the two states—Manipur and Mizoram. It covers the specific literature on conflicts in Northeast India and the adequacy of existing arguments for understanding specific questions. It also reviews the literature on state building and collapse and examines some recent approaches to studying issues of state capability that provide promising ways to engage with the research problem. The chapter argues that the breakdown in Manipur is as much about the mobilization against the agencies of the state as it is about intercommunity conflicts. Social control in Manipur stands fragmented and state actors have failed to become the dominant force in society.
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