International Relations

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  • 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.

    Suchak Patel asked: How Cold War 2.0 between the United States and China will be different from Cold War 1.0, especially from the Indian perspective? Are strategic autonomy and NAM relevant choices for India in 2.0?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: From the Indian perspective, there are two principal differences between the United States-Soviet Union Cold War 1.0 and the prospective Cold War 2.0 between China and the United States The first difference lies in the fact that one of the protagonists in Cold War 2.0, namely, China, is an adversary that has been in occupation of Indian territory, continues to make claims to other Indian territories, has supported Pakistan against India since the 1960s

    Harshit Rao asked: What is meant by ‘shift from state-centric geopolitics to geocentric global politics’?

    Rajeesh Kumar replies: Traditionally, international politics has been understood as the relations between states. In this international paradigm, nation-states are considered as the building blocks of world affairs. This thinking has also been reflected in the early theoretical approaches of International Relations (IR), which restricted the designation of ‘actor’ solely to nation-states and regarded states as the only entities capable of acting meaningfully at the international level.

    Amit Kumar asked: Has the trend towards multipolarity brought the balance of power theory back into relevance after remaining irrelevant during the bipolar and unipolar world?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: This question wrongly assumes that the balance of power theory was “irrelevant” during the unipolar and bipolar world. It is axiomatic to say that no theory is absolutely irrelevant at any given point of time. All theories try to explain particular facets of reality from a particular angle and draw their conclusions from it. The global reality is so complex that it is impossible to have one overarching theory explaining all facets of it.

    Prerna Trehan asked: Is the COVID-19 pandemic changing the conception of security and alliances in the contemporary world?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic is global in scope and poses a non-military challenge to all of humanity. Yet, instead of boosting the notion of human security, the pandemic is likely to reinforce the traditional conception of national security because it is disrupting the flow of goods and people across borders, ushering in a global depression, reversing the process of globalisation, and turning countries inwards.