International Relations

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  • Two Decades After 9/11: The Liberal Security Community Lies in Tatters

    It may seem premature to discuss the advent of an illiberal global order, however, the numerous catalytic events of recent years and the apparent decline of American heft in shaping global norms and structures might indicate that the international system is on the cusp of a major transformation.

    October 12, 2021

    Mohammad Hussain asked: Is there any conceptual difference between international affairs and international relations?

    Arpita Anant replies: There is no conceptual difference between international affairs and international relations as both are ‘international’. The two are often used interchangeably. But there is a slight difference in their scope. International relations refers to a field of study comprising political, social and economic relations among nations.

    Taliban Talks to “International Community”

    The choice of words Taliban employs to communicate with the international community is symptomatic not only of the limits of inter-cultural communication, but also depicts how meanings move across geo-cultural spaces and that “right” vocabularies are being used indeed as a qualifier to join the community of nations.

    September 03, 2021

    Ajay Kumar asked: How are rising powers challenging the US and Western dominance in IMF and the World Bank?

    Rajeesh Kumar replies: Western powers, particularly the United States (US), predominate the two major post-World War international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The US is the only country with sufficient voting power to have a de facto veto right in both these institutions over certain decisions.

    Nikhil Kalla asked: How is non-alignment different from strategic autonomy? NAM talks about ‘positive neutralism’, which is similar to strategic autonomy.

    Ashok K. Behuria replies:  The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was conceived at a time when bipolarity was emerging as a marked feature in international politics. The world was divided between two polar ideologies, i.e., liberal democracy and communism. The United States (US) emerged as the leader of the so-called free world and the erstwhile Soviet Union as the leader of communist countries.

    Prabhat Mishra asked: What are the reasons for the regionalisation of world politics? How does regionalism shape world politics?

    Ashok K. Behuria replies: Despite the revolution in communication technology and resultant shrinking of the 'global' realm, regional geopolitics has always remained an important subset of global/international politics, partly because of geo-cultural contiguities and close and shared historical experiences. Therefore, to say that regionalisation of world politics is more visible now than before would be a misnomer.

    Alana Houkamau asked: How did airpower disrupt the dichotomy between geopolitics as sea-power (Mahan) versus geopolitics as land-power (Mackinder), and do either of these theories holds any relevance today?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: Physically, there are just three ways to connect - land, water and air. And these three mediums are also used to perceive and project power. Mahan and Mackinder based their theories on the centrality of seas and landmass respectively. And now airpower has come into play in a major way.

    Shahnawaz Qadri asked: What would be the theoretical point to describe India and Turkey as newly emerging third world international aid donors?

    Md. Muddassir Quamar replies: International aid is a well-established tool of foreign policy. Many identify the beginning of the phenomenon to the US Marshal Plan (1948) for the economic reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War. However, others dispute this claim underlining the historical nature of foreign aid and donations, thus denying it being a 20th century phenomenon. Traditionally, rich developed countries were the leading international donors.

    Turkish Foreign Policy: From ‘Zero Problem’ to Zero Friends

    Turkish global power aspirations are hindered by a lack of regional influence. Ankara wishes to enhance strategic depth in the neighborhood. Deviating from a soft power approach, President Erdogan has increasingly adopted a confrontational foreign policy.

    November 06, 2020

    Shubhangi Jain asked: With the neo-liberal order gaining acceptance, do we see an end of ideology debate?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: Neoliberalism has actually begun to wane in recent years. America under Donald Trump has been pursuing an “America First” policy. It has unleashed trade and tariff wars against rivals such as China, allies such as Europe, and partners such as India. It has erected barriers to the legal flow of people into the United States. And it has launched a concerted domestic and international campaign highlighting the challenge that Communist China poses to free societies and the international order.