Africa, Latin America, Caribbean & UN: Publications

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  • Waiting for Godot*: India and United Nations Security Council Reform

    This article analyses the history of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform with a particular focus on India’s aspiration and attempts to become a permanent member on the Council. The primary objectives of this historical examination are to appreciate how hard reforming the UNSC is and to understand how challenging it will be for India to acquire a permanent seat on the Council. Probing the General Assembly debates on UNSC reform, the article exposes the fundamental hurdles to change, the duplicity of the permanent five (P-5) and lack of unity among the stakeholders.

    November 2017

    Framing South Africa’s Soft Power through Non-State Sources

    South Africa arguably stands well above its regional counterparts in terms of soft power resources. This is not entirely unconnected with the uncalculated attempts by non-state actors to extend the reach of the country’s soft power status across the world. This article probes the contributions of the informal drivers of South Africa’s soft power. These ‘soft powered’ institutions and individuals (with no definite state affiliation) are critical contributors to South Africa’s soft power diplomacy.

    September 2017

    India’s Stance and Renewed Commitment to UN Peacekeeping

    The United Nations (UN) adopted UN Peacekeeping, during its initial years, to restore international peace and security. As the world body celebrated 70 years of its existence in 2015, UN Peacekeeping continues to play an important role in maintaining peace and security, by protecting civilians and preventing human rights violations arising from violence and conflict. India has emerged as one of the frontrunners in the shared responsibility of ushering in peace and stability in the world, under the umbrella of the UN.

    May 2017

    Globalization of the Jihadist Threat: Case Study of Trinidad and Tobago

    Despite a well-integrated Muslim population, and an environment where there is no tangible discrimination or lack of opportunity, the Jihadist ideology has succeeded in taking root in Trinidad. Links with organized crime have helped fuel the movement and strong links have been forged with ISIS and Al-Qaeda with the result that at least 89 Trinidadians are now in Syria. It is also argued that some Trinidadian Muslims have succumbed to the messages broadcast by ISIS and that the lure of fighting for an Islamic Caliphate has found resonance.

    March 2017

    Subsystemic Unipolarities? Power Distribution and State Behaviour in South America and Southern Africa

    This article explores the possibility of conceiving South America and Southern Africa as subsystemic unipolarities under Brazilian and South African primacy, respectively. It argues that this concept, when applied to these regions, sheds light not only on the long-term strategies behind the Brazilian and South African foreign policies towards their neighbourhood, but also on the behaviour of secondary regional powers and small states. This hypothesis questions the maxim that considerations related to polarity affect great powers only.

    January 2017

    Has Nigeria Defeated Boko Haram? An Appraisal of the Counter-Terrorism Approach under the Buhari Administration

    One of the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari was that he would eliminate Boko Haram six months after assumption of office. By December 2015, the Buhari-led government gave itself a pass mark for countering the terrorists. The government declared that the group had been ‘technically defeated’. This declaration has led to debates in the public space as to the veracity of this claim. This article aims to critically appraise the on-going attempt to eliminate the Boko Haram threat under the Buhari administration.

    January 2017

    India–US Strategic Dialogue: An Assessment

    India–US strategic dialogue was initiated in 2009, and is organised annually in different capitals. The first round of dialogue took place against the backdrop of pessimism in the bilateral relationship. For about six months after the new Obama administration was formed, strategists in Delhi were suspicious about the durability of an India–US strategic partnership that had been painstakingly nurtured by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    November 2013

    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

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