Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy

Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0199661278

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


India today looms large globally, where it hardly loomed at all twenty years ago. It is likely to be a key global actor throughout the twenty-first century and could well emerge soon as one of the top five global powers.

Does the Elephant Dance? seeks to survey the main features of Indian foreign policy. It identifies elements of Indian history relevant to the topic; examines the role therein of domestic politics and internal and external security challenges, and of domestic and international economic factors; and in successive chapters delves into the specifics of India's policy within its South Asian neighbourhood, and with respect to China, the USA, West Asia (the Middle East), East Asia, Europe and Russia, and multilateral diplomacy. It also touches on Indian ties to Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. India's "soft power", the role of migration in its policy, and other cross-cutting issues are analyzed, as is the role and approach of several categories of foreign policy actors in India. Substantive conclusions close out the volume, and touch, inter alia, on the absence of an organizing framework for Indian foreign policy.

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to develop a more sophisticated and effective approach to asymmetrical threats, specifically a more convincing counter-terrorism capacity. Indeed, with national security under such threat, might foreign investors one day take fright?99 Concern over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and its continuing development of a long-range missile capability is also on Indian minds. Taken together, these factors ensure that Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel are now central to India’s West Asia policy. During the

refocused India’s attention to the east. New Delhi newly remembered again Jawaharlal Nehru’s reference to Southeast Asia as a part of ‘Greater India’.1 This chapter examines India’s policy towards Asia east of India encompassing Southeast Asian nations, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, and also China (as an Asian regional actor—rather than as a neighbour, a topic covered in Chapter 6).2 India’s immediate neighbourhood is excluded from our purview here, with the exception of

changing social circumstances and economic needs. The country is adapting to some of the forces of urbanization and modernization that have placed great strain on traditional family practices such as the care of elders by younger generations, while courting risks in others such as gender selection (which, in some parts of the country, has reached alarming proportions and threatens social cohesion a generation hence). Agriculture can do much better with more sensible water and power policies.

Politics of Pipelines’, DAWN (Online), 13 August 2009: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/16-the-politics-of-pipelines-hs-05 72. Sudha Ramachandran, ‘India’s Foray into Central Asia’, Asia Times (Online), 12 August 2006: www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HH12Df01.html Neither the Tajiks nor the Indians are very forthcoming about the arrangements governing the Ayni airbase. However it is estimated that about 150 Indian personnel and an IAF unit are based there.

create greater opportunity for India in redefining and advancing a foreign policy for a new era, one more strongly marked by Asia than has been the case for many centuries. Figure 4.3. India’s Domestic Oil Consumption vs. Domestic Production Source: Government of India, Planning Commission, Integrated Energy Policy: Report of the Expert Committee (August 2006) India’s bilateral diplomacy has mostly been deft beyond its own immediate neighbourhood, and even in the latter it has been

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