Africa, Latin America, Caribbean & UN: Publications

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  • China and IBSA: Possible BRICS Overreach?

    The India–Brazil–South Africa (IBSA) forum, which was formalised in June 2003 through the adoption of the Brasilia Declaration based on the spirit of South–South solidarity, turns a decade old in 2013. The event will be celebrated at its first decadal summit in New Delhi. At the same time, this event needs to be juxtaposed with the fifth consecutive leadership summit of Brazil–Russia–India–China–South Africa (BRICS) in Durban in March 2013. Both IBSA and BRICS are in the limelight for their cross-continental politics.

    May 2013

    IBSA at 10: South–South development assistance and the challenge to build international legitimacy in a changing global order

    This commentary engages with the IBSA model of South–South development assistance. It focuses on the IBSA Trust Fund to demonstrate the growing political relevance of the partnership in development assistance initiatives. This is followed by an analysis of Brazil's increasing participation in South–South development assistance in many developing countries around the world.

    May 2013

    IBSA: Avoiding Being BRICked Up

    In his opening address at the 2011 India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) summit held in Pretoria/Tshwane, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa said the essence of the grouping was ‘Back to Basics: When Democracy and Development Work Together for a Better Life’.

    May 2013

    The Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World by Manu Bhagavan

    There have been several accounts of India's engagement with the United Nations but this book focuses particularly on the idea of One World, something greater than the UN. The need for a potent peace constituency amidst the increasing number of conflict zones with transnational and global impacts bolsters the rationale for an efficient global governing body, One World reified. The book has six chapters with a short prologue and epilogue. Manu Bhagavan presents a fine historical account of India's efforts for One World.

    January 2013

    Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge by Adam Segal

    Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge follows a long line of books that tap into America's preoccupation with retaining its pole position as the repository of cutting edge technology, and the resultant dominance this offers it across the political, economic and military spectrum. These books are a subset within the wider pre-occupation of responding to the rise of the Asian powers, and a shift of the geopolitical centre of gravity from the Euro-Atlantic to the Asian landmass.

    January 2013

    India amidst Increased Activity in the Security Council: A Few Observations

    Article 1 of the United Nations Charter declares the maintenance of international peace and security to be the primary function of the United Nations. This makes the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) the most important organ of the whole establishment. All other functions and engagements of the United Nations are in support of the primary cause.

    March 2012

    The Domestic Determinants of Iranian Foreign Policy: Challenges to Consensus

    The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is widely misunderstood. On the one hand many experts regard the Iranian foreign policy as being essentially ideology driven while on the other hand a significant body of opinion believes that ideology is a convenient smokescreen for Iran's pursuit of its national interests. This paper examines the role of ideological, political and institutional actors in the context of the Islamic Republic's quest for consensus and cohesion.

    July 2011

    Protest Movements in West Asia: Some Impressions

    The pro-democracy uprisings in West Asia began with Tunisia, where the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in a dramatic fashion and found refuge in Jeddah, his new home in exile in Saudi Arabia. The Tunisian revolt had a dramatic impact on Egypt, where a non-violent uprising, brewing for some years, sought the removal of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, president for 28 years. While the movement for change in Egypt was still underway, a pro-democracy revolt erupted in Bahrain, which became the first country in the Gulf whose people sought a fundamental political transformation.

    July 2011

    Piracy in Somalia: Addressing the Root Causes

    Rampant piracy off the Somalia coast has brought the strife-ridden country back into attention. Economic hardship, and a deep resentment and anger against foreign exploitation of Somalia's maritime resources, have inspired the pirates to declare themselves 'coast guards of Somalia'. However, the growing attacks by the pirates have had an adverse impact on global commercial shipping. The international community has responded to this predicament by massive naval deployments in the Gulf of Aden.

    May 2011

    Iran's Revolutionary Guards: Ideological But Not Praetorian

    The role of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has come under an increasing spotlight in recent years. This scrutiny has intensified in the wake of the controversial June 2009 presidential elections and the unrest which followed. Western governments, in tandem with the more radical sections of the Iranian opposition, appear keen to construct a narrative wherein the IRGC steadily displaces the ruling clergy as Iran's political masters. Fears of a growing political role for the IRGC – let alone a full-blown military takeover – are overstated.

    May 2011

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