Foreign Policy

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  • Why Non-Alignment has greater relevance in Modi’s India

    The global thrust on economic integration has certainly accrued greater space to India that the non-alignment actually stands for. It allows India to reach out to both the US and China without fear of taking sides and draw in the benefits from both of manufacturing, investments, trade and commerce.

    June 29, 2014

    The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat by Vali Nasr

    The Dispensable Nation provides a useful critique of the Obama administration. The author, Vali Nasr, analyses Obama’s foreign policy, especially his approach towards regions afflicted by crises, from the volatile Arab region to the badlands of South Asia. The book sheds light on the tussle between the State Department and the White House which impacts the making as well as the implementation of US foreign policy.

    May 2014

    Foreign policy agenda for the new government

    Foreign policy agenda for the new government

    India has unprecedented opportunity to follow a foreign policy to meet its developmental aspirations and security needs, both of which are complementary. Sustained economic growth is essential for India to follow a proactive foreign policy.

    May 27, 2014

    Global Power Shifts and Germany’s New Foreign Policy Agenda

    The German government’s 2011 abstention from the United Nations Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya raised questions about Germany’s role in the international system. By abstaining, Germany broke with its Western allies and aligned itself with four of the BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Its ‘non-Western’ act unleashed a debate on the future of German foreign policy. This contribution aims to provide an understanding of Germany’s new foreign policy.

    may

    New Directions in Iranian Foreign Policy: Impact on Global Energy Security

    After the June 2013 election when Hassan Rouhani became president of Iran, Iranian foreign policy changed course. The fundamental transformation is the result of his decision to open up a fresh dialogue with the United States and other Great Powers to resolve the nuclear stand-off that would end the country’s isolation, lift the biting US-led sanctions and allow Iran to open a new chapter in its economic policy and international diplomacy.

    Emerging Trends in West Asia: Regional and Global Implications

    Emerging Trends in West Asia: Regional and Global Implications
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2014

    The book provides an in-depth assessment of socio-political, economic and strategic trends unfolding in West Asia. It also explores options for India to enhance existing relations with the West Asian region in a much more meaningful manner. The complexities of West Asia have been systematically explored by scholars, diplomats and specialists to advance the understanding of West Asia's political and strategic architecture.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-771-5,
    • Price: ₹. 995/-
    • E-copy available
    2014

    Asian Strategic Review 2014: US Pivot and Asian Security

    Asian Strategic Review 2014: US Pivot and Asian Security
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2014

    The “Pivot to Asia” strategy qualifies to be called Obama Doctrine: a part of Obama’s “grand strategy”. This policy may radically redefine not only the US engagement with Asia but also the Asian strategic dynamics. This book looks at various facets of the pivot strategy, to include US, Chinese, regional and country specific perspectives with an aim of providing greater clarity and understanding.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-769-2,
    • Price: ₹. 995/-
    • E-copy available
    2014

    Federalising India’s Neighbourhood Policy: Making the States Stakeholders

    The politics of coalition has posed new challenges to India’s foreign policy. This problem becomes particularly evident in India’s neighbourhood, which inevitably becomes intertwined with domestic politics. The rise of regional political parties and their role as coalition partners makes it more difficult for the union government to ignore provincial sentiments. Competitive politics featuring both national and regional political parties provides primacy to local interest as this is linked to the vote bank politics.

    January 2014

    Vibin Lakshmanan asked: Why is 'polarity of power' thesis less relevant and meaningful than the 'balance of power' in the present international system?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: Polarity of Power and Balance of Power are not contrasting explanatory or theoretical perspectives.

    Polarity of Power refers to the structure of international systems, whether they are dominated by a single Great (Super) Power [unipolar system] or two Great Powers [bipolar system] or multiple Great Powers [multipolar system].

    Balance of Power is the attempt by each Great Power in an international system to ensure itself against rivals or adversaries through a combination of alliance formation (external balancing) and building up its own capabilities (internal balancing). The efforts made in this regard by the various countries inhabiting an international system are referred to as Balance of Power politics.

    Theoretically, it can be argued that Balance of Power politics ceases to operate in a unipolar international system. A good recent example is America's 'unipolar moment' which dawned after the demise of the Soviet Union. Contrary to the expectations of many theorists of a realist persuasion, no other power or combination of powers (for instance, Western Europe) automatically rose to balance against American power or challenge American hegemony. And contrary to Paul Tsongas' cryptic judgement (The Cold War is over; Japan won.), and Paul Kennedy's prediction that Japan would supplant the United States as the new superpower, Japan in fact entered a period of stagnation from which it has still not completely recovered. However, since international politics is a human endeavour and not a mathematical equation, 'History' did not 'End' with the triumph of a liberal democratic United States and the international system did not freeze into unipolarity forever.

    Over the last 25 years, China has steadily risen to Great Power status and a nascent bipolar international system can be discerned. Notwithstanding dire predictions of a terminal American decline, there are indications that the United States may actually spring back from the consequences of its recent imperial overstretch thanks to the shale gas revolution, the domestic backlash against globalisation and the shrinking of the cost differential between domestic and overseas manufacturing. The belief that the international system may actually become multipolar in character with the Rise of the Rest (including India) no longer appears to be a certainty and may well prove to be a distant mirage. Be that as it may, it is in the context of the return of bipolarity or multipolarity that the practice of Balance of Power has returned to the international system.

    None of this means that Balance of Power as state practice fell into disuse in the context of relationships between regional powers. The 50-year old China-Pakistan entente cordiale is a good example in this regard.

    Posted on February 11, 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.

    2014

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