West Asia Centre
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  • About Centre

    The West Asia Centre seeks to cover issues, themes and countries of the region which are undergoing rapid political transformation impacting the political and security situation of the region and beyond. Popular protests demanding political and economic reforms and the subsequent fall of some long ruling authoritarian rulers and the rise of Islamists to power have significantly changed the region’s political landscape. GCC-Iran rivalry, Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict, external intervention in the region, and the rise of religious radicalism have further aggravated the situation. The Centre is closely following the unfolding internal political developments in individual countries as well as the regional political scenario.

    The historical shifts in the region and domestic political developments will have a significant impact on India’s external environment. With huge stakes in the region such as energy, trade and safety of Indian citizens in the region, it has become important for India to carefully watch developments taking place in its ‘extended neighbourhood.’ These and other related issues are being focused upon by the scholars at the Centre. The Centre continues to hold regular bilateral dialogues with some leading think tanks in West Asia thus facilitating exchange of ideas and perspectives.

    Current projects being pursued in the Centre are:

  • Linking South and Central and West Asia: Transportation and Energy Cooperation
  • Political transformations in the Arab world and implications for India
  • Regional organisation in Gulf: The Gulf Cooperation Council
  • India-Arab relations and partnership
  • Iran’s domestic and foreign policies
  • India’s Engagement with Iran: Prospects and challenges.
  • Members

    India's Saudi Policy: Bridge to the Future

    • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
      2018
    The book traces India’s Saudi Policy and locates the current state of bilateral relations and the challenges it faces. It argues that during the Cold War the relations were largely shaped by the Pakistan factor which in turn inhibited both sides from exploring the importance and value of one another. As a result, the relations were largely transactional and marginal. The end of the Cold War coincided with two interesting developments, namely, significant growth in India’s economic power and influence and the de-hyphenation of Pakistan from its Middle East policy. This resulted in greater political engagements between India and Saudi Arabia and was strengthened by the growing energy trade ties. For long expatiate population and haj have been the backbone of the relations, and they have been new instruments as India looks to enhance its engagements with the Kingdom through investments opportunities, political contacts, shared security concerns and strategic cooperation. India’s Saudi policy, however, face many challenges most importantly the regional instability, the Iran factor, low oil price and the international dynamics. The book will be the first comprehensive work on the India-Saudi relations. Though targeting a wider audience, it will be academically grounded and based on primary sources collected from India and Saudi Arabia.
    • E-book ISBN: 978-981-13-0794-2, Hardcopy ISBN: 978-981-13-0793-5,
    • Price: E-book - E-book - $84.99, Hardcopy - $109.99
    2018

    West Asia in Transition - Volume II

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2018
    West Asia in Transition-Volume II is the result of a project launched by the Delhi Policy Group (DPG) in 2016 to study the rapidly changing socio-political and economic structures as well as emerging trends in West Asia. The publication is a collection` of essays by senior diplomats, academics and young researchers on different aspects of the profound transformation taking place in the West Asian region.
    • ISBN: 978-93-86618-17-7,
    • Price: ₹.1295/- $34.95/-
    • E-copy available
    2018

    Persian Gulf 2016-17: India's Relations with the Region

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2018

    The Persian Gulf-2016-17 is fifth in the series published by MEI @ ND and first in collaboration with the IDSA. It Examines India’s bilateral relations with the region and focusses on developments during 2015 and 2016. It gives a comprehensive account of the strategic, political, economic and cultural aspects of bilateral developments and also provides in depth analysis of internal dynamics of the Persian Gulf countries.

    • ISBN: 978-93-86618-19-1,
    • Price: ₹ 1295
    • E-copy available
    2018

    Arab Spring and Sectarian Faultlines in West Asia: Bahrain, Yemen and Syria

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2017

    Since the outbreak of the Arab unrest, sectarian politics has become more pronounced throughout the West Asian region which is reflected in the growing polarisation of society and politics on narrow sectarian lines. Rulers have adopted sectarian approaches as a measure to secure their regimes.

    • ISBN 978-93-86618-05-4,
    • Price: ₹ 795
    • E-copy available
    2017

    Iran Sanctions and India: Navigating the Road Blocks

    Iran Sanctions and India: Navigating the Road Blocks

    The monograph examines UNSC, US and EU sanctions targeting Iran as a result of concerns emanating from its nuclear programme and the implications they have had for India.

    2016

    The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks

    Scholars from various academic disciplines have attempted to explain the nature and drivers of the 21st century sui generis phenomenon of radicalization. However, it is rare to find a single book which not only details and builds on the body of work in this still evolving field but also sheds fresh insight into the many unresolved issues that demand fresh perspectives and approaches.

    March 2020

    India-UAE Security Ties: Moving Towards an Enduring Partnership

    Traditionally dominated by the trade, energy and Diaspora ties, the India-UAE relationship has been growing substantially in the security arena in recent years. There are deliberate and robust attempts from both sides to forge strong security cooperation. The high volume of trade and commerce, common threat perceptions such as terrorism and piracy, continuing regional instability in West Asia since 2011 are some of the key drivers of the growing India-UAE security cooperation. Recent high-level visits have provided the much needed confidence to both sides to engage in the security domain.

    March 2020

    Uzbekistan: The Key Pillar of India’s ‘Act North’ Engagement

    India has redefined its engagement with Eurasia in the last few years. It has sought to re-energize ties with its extended neighbourhood based on its historical linkages, positive and benign image, and overlapping security and economic interests. In this context, ties with Uzbekistan remain a key pillar of India’s Eurasian calculus. Tashkent’s strategic location at the crossroads of Central Asia and abundant natural resources form the fulcrum around which the security of Central Asia revolves.

    March 2020

    Qatar Crisis and the Deepening Regional Faultlines

    In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar. They accused Qatar of supporting extremist and terror groups in the region, having close ties with Iran, undermining the security and stability of the Gulf region, and using the satellite television network Al Jazeera as a propaganda machine. They also put up a list of demands before Qatar, to be accepted within 10 days in order to end the boycott.

    July 2018

    AKP, the Arab Spring and the Unravelling of the Turkey ‘Model’

    The rise of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), its domestic and foreign policy successes and its early response to the Arab Spring made it popular in the Arab world. Many inside Turkey, the US and the Arab world saw the AKP as an Islamist party with a difference, that could be a ‘model’ for the Arab countries struggling with a democratic deficit.

    July 2018

    Beijing’s Soft Diplomacy in West Asia in Times of COVID-19

    China’s soft diplomacy in West Asia, particularly in times of pandemic, is a way to improve its global image and recast itself as a responsible actor at relatively low cost, rather than a sign of any deeper commitment towards the region.

    July 03, 2020

    It is Advantage Turkey in Libya

    Under President Erdoğan, Ankara has become more ambitious and is using every opportunity to intervene in regional politics.

    June 22, 2020

    COVID-19 Deepens Fault Lines in Egypt

    While Egypt has managed to contain the spread of the virus, the economic and political fallout of the pandemic poses a critical challenge to the stability of the country.

    June 04, 2020

    COVID-19 in Non-GCC Countries: An Overview

    The pandemic continues to amplify the crisis in West Asia, making it hard for governments to cope with it individually. In the absence of a coordinated effort at the regional level, the road to economic recovery will be long and uneven.

    May 29, 2020

    US-Iran Hostilities in Times of Pandemic

    The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic would at best have a limited and short-term impact on the US-Iran hostilities. For the time being, the chances of escalation may be limited but the rivalry is here to stay.

    May 22, 2020

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