Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy by David M. Malone

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  • March 2015
    Book Review

    In Does the Elephant Dance, David Malone identifies various aspects of Indian history relevant to foreign policy by examining the role of domestic politics and internal and external security challenges. The author specifically analyses domestic and international economic factors. In several chapters, he evaluates India’s policy towards its South Asian neighbours as well as explaining its multilateral diplomacy with respect to China, the US, West Asia, East Asia (India’s ‘Look East’ policy), Europe and Russia.

    A discussion of contemporary Indian foreign policy would make little sense without situating it within the wider flow of Indian history in which certain key characteristics relevant to foreign policy emerge. This is attempted in the first and second chapters. Chapter 3 deals with Indian domestic and security challenges to foreign policy formulation, whereas Chapter 4 deals with India’s economy and its role in shaping India’s contemporary international relations. Both chapters contain significant historical sections that cover much of the post-1947 ground.