Academic journal article Indian Foreign Affairs Journal

Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy

Academic journal article Indian Foreign Affairs Journal

Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy

Article excerpt

David Malone, Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011), Pages: xxii + 425, Price: Rs. 695.

This book is a perceptive analysis of India's shiftfrom being inward looking to now on the outward-oriented player, covering in its canvas history, geography, economics and strategy. It is rich in details and offers a comprehensive analysis of the ideas, motives and imperatives that determine India's external policy. The author, who has previously served as Canada's High Commissioner to India, writes about India's history and geography and how these impinge on its external outlook. He expresses optimism about India's buoyant economy, softpower diplomacy and the country's desire to play a greater role in the realm of international affairs, at the same time pointing out India's pressing domestic problems that may delay, if not derail its inevitable rise to global stature.

The author particularly focuses on three issues: Sino-Indian relations, India's relations with the USA, and multilateral diplomacy. Indian foreign engagements have been divided into three distinct periods - Nehruvian idealism, realism under Indira Gandhi, and the current economically driven pragmatism. Noting with admiration the shiftin India's foreign policy thinking in recent years, he argues that Indian diplomats are highly skilled and are up to the task of effecting the paradigm shiftin India's foreign relations. He notes the parallel rise of Brazil and South Africa with India. India's globalized private sector has engaged with these countries. India has also done very well for itself by re-engaging itself with East and South East-Asia in the past decade. India's pivotal position as the beacon of stability in an increasingly unstable subcontinent is well acknowledged, as also the pressing challenges and imperatives for India to cultivate a peaceful and stable neighbourhood.

Internal security challenges range from right-wing religious extremism to Naxalism and ethnic insurgent movements in the North-East. Externally, two bilateral relations are crucial to India in the coming decades - that with China and the USA. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.