About the BookIndia, since the onset of its economic liberalization in the early 1990s, has been facing too many challenges from its external environment, and hence its foreign policies have been waxing and waning, and are often found to be much deviated from the post-Second World War era when the country was more tied to and tilted towards a particular bloc, and when the country’s economy was more ‘protected’. The world has witnessed diversity in organizations, associations and blocs, each competing with others for comparative advantages in terms of trade, commerce and political allegiances. The most distinctive aspect that is discernible as far as India is concerned is that the country has been opening up, engaging itself in various such actors without giving up its earlier ties with the older organizations such as the UNO and its organs and agencies.
India has found the post-Cold War international order acquiescent to expansion of its bilateral ties with all the major powers simultaneously, and has thus pursued a strategy of ‘multi-alignment’. Following ‘defensive realist’ strategies, India attempts to gain power for self preservation. John Mearsheimer argues that international life would continue to be a brutal competition for power as it has always been. He further argues that in the absence of a world government to enforce rights, states find it impossible to trust one another, and simply striving for security drives them to seek control of their environment and thus dominance. Fareed Zakaria, in contrast, views the present international system as “a world of reduced danger as economics triumphs politics.” It is in this backdrop that the present volume throws light on India’s rise as a global power, and the likely regional and global implications, through specific focus on its relations with strategically and economically important countries in the developed and the developing worlds. In this context, the volume also deals with India’s policy of constructive engagement with international organizations and selected regional organizations across the globe.
The present volume has been written in the backdrop of US President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi in November 2008 when he referred to India not as ‘emerging’ but as an ‘emerged’ power. In fact, India’s rise in the present century can be compared only with the rise of the United States of America in the 20th century and the rise of Germany in the 19th century.
The book is comprised of sixteen chapters, and drafted by some established scholars in the field as well as the younger ones. It is an enviable attempt to describe today’s fast changing world from the Indian perspective. It will be very useful to the students, researchers, diplomats, and policymakers, and provoke further scholarly debates and discussions.About the Author/sRaj Kumar Kothari is Reader and former Head of the Department of Political Science at Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India. He completed his M.A. in Political Science from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal in 1988 with first class first rank. He did his M.Phil from the School of International Studies, Pondicherry University in 1990 and then completed his Ph.D. as a Ford Foundation Research Fellow from the Department of Civics & Politics from the University of Mumbai in 1994.
He has to his credit more than thirty research articles published in various reputed journals and newspapers and a book entitled From Communism to Democratic Freedom: Perestroika and New Thinking of Mikhail Gorbachew (Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi: 1994). He has also published an edited volume entitled India’s Foreign Policy in the New Millennium (Academic Excellence, New Delhi: 2010). He has also participated and presented papers in a series of international, national and state level seminars and conferences. He is actively engaged in research in foreign policy and international relations.