Indian foreign policy

An overview

Author: Harsh V. Pant

As India has risen economically and militarily in recent years, its political clout on the global stage has also seen a commensurate increase. From the peripheries of international affairs, India is now at the centre of major power politics. It is viewed as a major balancer in the Asia-Pacific, a major democracy that can be a major ally of the West in countering China even as India continues to challenge the West on a whole range of issues – non-proliferation, global trade and climate change. Indian foreign policy was driven by a sense of idealism since its independence in 1947. India viewed global norms as important as it kept a leash on the interests of great powers and gave New Delhi “strategic autonomy” to pursue its interests. But as India itself has emerged as a major global power, its foreign policy has moved towards greater “strategic realism.” This book is an overview of Indian foreign policy as it has evolved in recent times. The focus of the book is on the 21st century with historical context provided as appropriate. It will be an introductory book on Indian foreign policy and is not intended to be a detailed examination of any of its particular aspects. It examines India’s relationships with major powers, with its neighbours and other regions, as well as India’s stand on major global issues. The central argument of the book is that with a gradual accretion in its powers, India has become more aggressive in the pursuit of its interests, thereby emerging as an important player in the shaping of the global order in the new millennium.

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