This book project has given new meaning to the word collaboration. Three years, three continents, and a dozen authors later, it’s good to be able to thank the many people who have contributed to this collective endeavor.
It began with a big idea by one of us that would never have gotten off the ground without key institutions and scholars getting behind it. At the brainstorming session that Deepa called at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies in 2007 to test the waters, it became clear right away that the prospect of looking more closely at the foreign policy thinking in rising and aspiring powers of Asia and Eurasia excited people. And it was during that session that Henry’s idea of applying a schools of thought approach to access domestic debates in these countries caught on and made the project seem actually workable. Among those who took part in our early discussions, we owe special thanks to our valued colleague and former dean, Harry Harding, an Asia specialist par excellence, who inspired his colleagues to work together.
Since then, we are happy to say that the two of us have worked seamlessly as a team (despite differing political perspectives, we might add). We’re also pleased to report that whatever skepticism some colleagues initially had about doing a complex domestically oriented comparative study of China, India, Iran, Japan, and Russia melted away as the project progressed.
From the beginning, we designed the country studies to be done jointly by US-based and in-country authors. But our project also traveled to the region: we took most of the dozen of us to Beijing, New Delhi, and Moscow between January and November 2010 for regional seminars where we presented preliminary country papers to prominent academics, journalists, policy analysts, and policy makers for reaction (and a reality check).
We could not have pulled off our regional seminars without crucial help from partner institutions within China, India, and Russia, and we want to express our sincere thanks—respectively to China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing; Observer Research Foundation, Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies and the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses in Delhi; Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and the