Order and Justice in International Relations

By Rosemary Foot; John Gaddis et al. | Go to book overview

9 Indian Conceptions of Order and Justice: Nehruvian, Gandhian, Hindutva, and Neo-Liberal

Kanti Bajpai

As world politics becomes increasingly globalized, and hitherto marginal voices begin to be heard, it is time to ask: how do different peoples and societies think about order and justice in world politics? What is the relationship between order and justice in non-Western traditions of thought? The tragic events of 11 September 2001 and the ensuing war in Afghanistan underscore different notions of order and justice in world politics and suggest that we ignore these at our peril. Mapping these different conceptions, bringing contesting idioms and arguments into a truly worldwide conversation over appropriate notions of order and justice, and, at a minimum, understanding more clearly the areas of agreement and the nature of differences are more urgent than ever.

This chapter argues that in the Indian discourse on world politics it is possible to discern multiple Indian conceptions of order and justice. Historically, three perspectives have dominated Indian thinking. The first and still dominant perspective is that of Nehruvian internationalism or Nehruvianism. The second is Gandhian cosmopolitanism or Gandhianism; the third is political Hinduism or Hindutva. A fourth, more recent, view may be called neo-liberal globalism or, more simply, neo-liberalism. 1 These four conceptions can be counter posed to the dominant Westphalian conception. Nehruvians have a 'Westphalian plus' view of order, while Gandhians argue that it is necessary to transform the current Westphalian international order into a genuine world order. Proponents of political Hinduism hold that it is India's destiny to build a dharmic world

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