India: From Regional to World Power

India: From Regional to World Power

India: From Regional to World Power

India: From Regional to World Power


This book provides an in-depth account of India's role in world politics at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

The author shows how the approach laid down by Nehru and followed by his successors (an approach that included nuclear self-restraint, the search for friendly relations with Pakistan and China, seeking the high ground in moral and diplomatic spheres, and giving a lead to the non-aligned Third World) has been replaced.

The new, more self-confident and assertive approach of this book is based on India's growing economic strength and has a more strategic and pro-Western orientation. Meticulous in approach, this book discusses this change, shows how it has come about, and explores how India's role in world politics might develop going forward.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of South Asian studies, Asian politics, international relations, and security studies.


India has emerged as a catalyst of regional and international change in a volatile and dangerous strategic environment. It is an active and an internationalist force which is now able to convert dangers to its interests and its peoples into opportunities and capacities that effectively engage friends and foes. The modern Indian idea, expressed forcefully after 1998, is to develop strategies to unfreeze stalemated relationships vis-à-vis two immediate neighbours, Pakistan and China, with other distant powers – especially the US, Israel, Japan, Australia, Iran and its other immediate neighbour, Myanmar. Post-1998 Indian diplomatic, commercial and military policies have emphasized the importance of a ‘Look East’ policy that merits a stronger emphasis on the Southeast Asian region. This area was neglected by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Since the late 1990s, the Indian subcontinent has been viewed as an important hub of international commerce and military strategy. The strategic interests of major Asian powers are engaged in the region on important issues such as terrorism, nuclear and missile proliferation, regional security, internal security and maritime security. Current Indian diplomatic and strategic behaviour has positioned Indian policies in the context of a resurgent Asia whose geographical limits extend from Central Asia to Japan. Indians now see themselves positioned at the crossroad of cultural, diplomatic, economic and strategic communications in the widened Asia. India’s location and its policies give it importance because the centre of gravity of international conflict has now moved away from Europe since the end of the Cold War towards the Southern Asian region. Asia is now the hub of terrorism, organized crime and nuclear proliferation, and it is also the hub of global economic change. The Indian aim, expressed forcefully after the 1998 nuclear tests, is to strengthen ties with its traditional foreign policy interlocutors such as Russia, France and the UK, and to build new strategic relationships with non-traditional ones in the Asian and the Middle Eastern spheres such as the US, Israel, Iran, Japan and Australia. The new orientation expresses a major change in Indian elite attitudes about the importance of military power, as well as the importance of building ties with non-traditional allies in the conduct of Indian diplomacy. It recognizes the central position of geopolitics rather than global utopianism as the basis of Indian policies.

To restructure Indian military, economic and diplomatic policies to increase its . . .

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