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  • Indigenous Historical Knowledge: Kautilya and His Vocabulary (Volume I)

    Indigenous Historical Knowledge: Kautilya and His Vocabulary
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    This book is the first in a series of three volumes on “Kautilya and His Vocabulary” as a part of the “Indigenous Historical Knowledge” project undertaken by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. The edited volumes contain select papers presented in a series of workshop, national and international seminars organised by the institute. The project is an attempt to trace, look into, analyse and relate with the indigenous strategic thinking in India. These volumes aim at initiating the study, internalisation, spread and consolidation of Kautilya’s Arthashastra in the strategic domain. The four focus themes in the three volumes are foreign policy, intelligence, war and internal security as they relate to contemporary times.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-849-1,
    • Price: ₹. 695.00
    • E-copy available

    Chanakya: An Empiricist as a Philosopher

    At the outset, it is important to put on record the epistemological root of the reading of Chanakya’s Arthashastra applicable to this commentary. The main text is from the translated volume by L.N. Rangarajan, titled Kautilya: The Arthashastra published by Penguin in 1992. Rangarajan has himself stated that he was guided by two versions of the original treatise of R. Samasastry and R.P. Kangle.

    September 2014

    Using Temple Gold for Shoring up the Economy: Learning from Kautilya’s Arthashastra

    Using Temple Gold for Shoring up the Economy: Learning from Kautilya’s Arthashastra

    Kautilya argues that when the treasury gets depleted, concerted efforts become necessary for its replenishment and even recommends extraordinary measures in emergency situations. But the guiding principle should be what the people consider as beneficial to themselves.

    April 17, 2015

    Statecraft and Intelligence Analysis in the Kautilya-Arthashastra

    In the Kautilya-Arthashastra, espionage and other ‘operational’ activities of the secret service—notably ‘active measures’ and ‘covert action’—are addressed often and in detail. In contrast, Kautilya seems to say very little about intelligence analysis, assessment and estimates which provide the basis of strategic planning and grand strategy—and arekey components of statecraft. However, the central proposition of this article is that ‘ideas’ (or meanings) underlying these modern intelligence terms are very much present in the Arthashastra.

    October 2014

    Sun Zi and Kautilya: Towards a Comparative Analysis

    It may be stated at the outset that this essay is essentially an attempt to identify some critical commonalities in the approaches of Sun Zi and Kautilya, the two profound strategists of the ancient Orient, one belonging to China and the other to India, and who exercised considerable influence for centuries that followed in their respective countries.

    May 2014

    Arthasastra: Lesson for the Contemporary Security Environment with South Asia as a Case Study

    Arthasastra: Lesson for the Contemporary Security Environment with South Asia as a Case Study

    In this monograph, the Arthasastra framework is used for examination of dynamics of fragility in South Asia, with a case study of Pakistan. The insights into human policy choices which can be gleaned from the treatise have a timeless quality that can offer a fresh perspective to today’s policy makers. It can be open to further academic investigation and debate for developing and enriching an indigenous strategic vocabulary.


    Overcoming the Ways of Matsya Nyaya

    Ancient Indian political thought as given in the niti (moral law) lays down that matsya nyaya (big fish swallowing the smaller fish), which is a law of nature, must be eradicated. However, in spite of best intentions it continues to prevail in internal and international politics. Society is bound together by dharma (justice), which is the great protecting principle, and economic prosperity, moral welfare and cultural advancements are the functions of justice.

    September 2013

    One Hundred Years of Kautilya's Arthasastra

    One Hundred Years of Kautilya's Arthasastra

    This work establishes the need for relevance of Kautilya's Arthasastra to contemporary security studies. The paper provides an overview and an update of various academic and scholarly controversies on its age and authorship, and also on the misperceptions which abound on Kautilya himself.


    Understanding Kautilya’s Four Upayas

    The four upayas are not well studied by scholars and are often used in a casual manner, particularly misquoting Kautilya. It is important to locate the text of traditional indigenous knowledge in their correct context.

    June 20, 2013

    Relevance of Kautilya's Arthasastra

    The community of scholars needs to study Kautilya's Arthasastra and apply his concepts to political theory and other fields of enquiry, such as intelligence, internal security, war, foreign policy, sociology, political psychology, law, accounting and management. In the past, scholars had to memorise the sutras. This may not be possible now given the declining knowledge of Sanskrit. However, this is no longer a hindrance. The first ever English translation of the text was carried out by Shamasastry, but there are now other English translations of the Arthasastra such as that by R.P.

    January 2013