West Asia: Publications

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  • Turkey, Islamic Politics and the ‘Turkish Model’

    In more than three decades, ever since the Islamic-oriented National Order Party was formed in 1969, Turkish politics has been analysed by many in terms of two straitjacketed views: Islamists trying to capture power on the one hand, and on the other hand the secularists or the state elite, with the help of the military, struggling to keep the country’s political orientation towards the West to protect Turkey as a secular state. This image of Turkey has created some confusion among strategic analysts abroad in understanding Turkey and its policies.

    September 2013

    Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty and Resource Governance in the Arctic

    While oil and gas industries are already well established in Siberia and Alaska, the melting of the Arctic ice cap is opening up new areas of the High North to hydrocarbon exploration. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Arctic is expected to hold about 22 per cent of the world's undiscovered, technically recoverable conventional oil and natural gas resources (about 13 per cent of undiscovered oil reserves, 30 per cent of natural gas, and 20 per cent of natural gas liquids).

    July 2013

    Sovereignty is the Key to Russia's Arctic Policy

    It was the privately-sponsored Russian expedition to the North Pole in August 2007 that opened a new competitive era in Arctic geopolitics, and the technologically elegant PR-trick with planting the flag into the crisscross point of meridians on the depth of 4,261 m produced a resonance that distorted strategic thinking about, and political interactions in the Arctic region.

    July 2013

    Syrian Civil War and the Chemical Weapons Use

    Syria is in the middle of civil war since March, 2011. Recent reports of use of chemical weapons in Syria and US President Barack Obama’s official statement on this issue has given a new turn to the Syrian conflict. Chemical Weapons (CW) usage and geopolitics of global interests complicate the issue. Acheiving a sustainable solution will require serious and sustained efforts on part of all the actors involved in Syria.

    India's Relationship with Saudi Arabia: Forging a Strategic Partnership

    Trade has been the dominant factor in India's relationship with Saudi Arabia, with the import of oil being a major component. India views Saudi Arabia as a country with which it can forge security ties in order to deal with terrorism, piracy and criminal elements. Diplomatically, it could be a gateway for India into the wider Arab and Islamic world. In recent years, Saudi Arabia has reciprocated India's initiatives relating to issues of mutual interest. Although some hurdles remain, it is time for both countries to work towards building a strong strategic partnership.

    March 2013

    Human Security and the Arab Spring

    The Arab Spring was ignited by an undeniable human security goal of achieving freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom to live in dignity. This article analyses how human security concerns have figured in the Arab Spring and shaped its course.

    January 2013

    Iran and India: The Need for Constructive Re-engagement

    Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran and the United States have been locked in a bitter conflict. Although it has not yet degenerated into a war, as has been the case with some international conflicts, isolation of the Islamic government has become the basic objective of US foreign policy towards Iran. US policymakers maintain that economic sanctions can force the government of Iran to change its policy on many international issues.

    January 2013

    Israel: The Non-Parallel Player

    Political tensions and rivalry between Iran and Israel have cast a shadow over India's bilateral relations with both these countries. While one offers energy security, the other provides military–security capability towards ensuring greater Indian influence in the Middle East. Conscious of their relative advantages and challenges, India has managed to maintain a fine balance in its relations with Iran and Israel.

    November 2012

    Iran: India's Gateway to Central Asia

    Most of the discourses on India–Iran relations are either focused on cultural and civilisational links with Iran or its relevance as an energy-rich nation. Its transit potential in providing India with access to Central Asia has not received adequate attention.

    November 2012

    The Pakistan Factor in the India–Iran Relationship

    India's relationship with Iran has been uneven owing to external factors. This article traces the role of the Pakistan factor in this relationship, wherein the religious identity of a fellow Islamic nation, the strategic outlook towards Afghanistan, and energy relations between the three countries are discussed. The article outlines the Pakistani primacy in the India–Iran strategic relationship and showcases how Afghanistan is the glue for India–Iran relations despite the breaks in their continuing relationship.

    November 2012

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