South Asia is one of the most volatile regions of the world, and India’s complex democratic political system impinges on its relations with its South Asian neighbours. Focusing on this relationship, this book explores the extent to which domestic politics affect a country’s foreign policy.
The book argues that particular continuities and disjunctures in Indian foreign policy are linked to the way in which Indian elites articulated Indian identity in response to the needs of domestic politics. The manner in which these state elites conceive India’s region and regional role depends on their need to stay in tune with domestic identity politics. Such exigencies have important implications for Indian foreign policy in South Asia.
Analysing India’s foreign policy through the lens of competing domestic visions at three different historical eras in India’s independent history, the book provides a framework for studying India’s developing nationhood on the basis of these idea(s) of ‘India’. This approach allows for a deeper and a more nuanced interpretation of the motives for India’s foreign policy choices than the traditional realist or neo-liberal framework, and provides a useful contribution to South Asian Studies, Politics and International Studies.