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Shaping the Emerging World

India and the Multilateral Order

edited by Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, and Bruce Jones

Publication Year: 2013

India faces a defining period. Its status as a global power is not only recognized but increasingly institutionalized, even as geopolitical shifts create both opportunities and challenges. With critical interests in almost every multilateral regime and vital stakes in emerging ones, India has no choice but to influence the evolving multilateral order. If India seeks to affect the multilateral order, how will it do so? In the past, it had little choice but to be content with rule taking—adhering to existing international norms and institutions. Will it now focus on rule breaking—challenging the present order primarily for effect and seeking greater accommodation in existing institutions? Or will it focus on rule shaping—contributing in partnership with others to shape emerging norms and regimes, particularly on energy, food, climate, oceans, and cyber security? And how do India's troubled neighborhood, complex domestic politics, and limited capacity inhibit its rule-shaping ability?

Despite limitations, India increasingly has the ideas, people, and tools to shape the global order—in the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, "not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially." Will India emerge as one of the shapers of the emerging international order? This volume seeks to answer that question.

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Front Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The genesis of this edited volume was a workshop on Indian foreign policy organized by New York University’s Centre on International Cooperation (CIC) in October 2010. Generously funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the workshop in New York provided an opportunity to chalk out the contours of the present book ...

Part I: Introduction

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1. A Hesitant Rule Shaper?

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pp. 3-22

India faces a defining period. As the world’s biggest democracy with an economy among the world’s ten largest, India’s status as a reemerging global power is being not just recognized but increasingly institutionalized, with a seat on the G-20, increasing clout in the international financial institutions, entry into the club of nuclear-armed states, ...

Part II: Perspectives on Multilateralism

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2. The Changing Dynamics of India's Multilateralism

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pp. 25-42

The evolution of India’s multilateralism remains one of the underexplored domains of India’s foreign policy. This is surprising given the pressing nature of the multilateral agenda in recent years— international trade negotiations, nuclear nonproliferation, global warming, humanitarian intervention, and the promotion of democracy— and India’s complex responses to it. ...

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3. India and Multilateralism: A Practitioner's Perspective

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pp. 43-56

While multilateralism is a broad concept, encompassing relations among states beyond the bilateral context, for the purposes of this chapter I confine myself to India’s approach to the United Nations (UN) and its institutions and processes. In order to highlight how India has conducted itself in this specific multilateral context, I draw on my experience as a professional diplomat, ...

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4. India as a Regional Power

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pp. 57-72

Since independence and partition in 1947, India has largely been seen as a regional, more specifically subcontinental, power. India’s core interests and its capacity to secure these have apparently been bounded by the geography and politics of South Asia. ...

Part III: Domestic and Regional Drivers

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5. The Economic Imperative for India's Multilateralism

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pp. 75-94

India has been a strong advocate of multilateralism even when it has preferred a bilateral approach to the political challenges it confronts in South Asia. India is not alone among major powers in adopting such a paradoxical stance. However, the Indian view of multilateral institutions and of multilateralism has evolved over time, ...

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6. What in the World Is India Able to Do? India's State Capacity for Multilateralism

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pp. 95-114

As India aspires to move from a rule-taker to a rule-maker or at least a rule-shaper role in the multilateral order, the main question being asked is, “What will India do”? Perhaps an equally relevant question is, “What is India able to do?” This question is directly related to India’s state capacity, which this chapter defines as a state’s ability to develop and implement policy. ...

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7. India's Regional Disputes

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pp. 115-130

From the 1970s onward, India has been regarded as being a difficult partner in multilateral settings. The end of the cold war may, as various commentators suggest, have effected a much greater degree of “pragmatism” in India’s external dealings, but Indians themselves, as well as foreign commentators, recognize that India’s attitude to multilateral negotiations ...

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8. From an Ocean of Peace to a Sea of Friends

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pp. 131-154

The analysis of geopolitical trends in the Indian Ocean has always constituted a uniquely challenging undertaking. For decades, strategic pundits have cyclically recognized the region’s growing importance, yet struggled to define both its boundaries and its precise geopolitical significance. ...

Part IV: Multilateral Policy in Practice

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9. Dilemmas of Sovereignty and Order: India and the UN Security Council

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pp. 157-176

This chapter examines India’s participation within and attitudes toward the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In so doing, it confronts two empirical puzzles. First, contrary to what one might expect of a rising power, India’s willingness to countenance violations of state sovereignty (through, say, multilaterally authorized intervention) ...

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10. India and UN Peacekeeping: The Weight of History and a Lack of Strategy

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pp. 177-196

India’s involvement in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations is one of its most visible contributions to the multilateral system. More than 100,000 Indian military and police personnel have served in forty of the UN’s sixty-five peacekeeping missions, dating back to their inception in the 1950s. ...

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11. From Defensive to Pragmatic Multilateralism and Back: India's Approach to Multilateral Arms Control and Disarmament

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pp. 197-216

In the early days of India’s independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of India’s foreign policy, hoped that India would guide the world toward a more cooperative order in which multilateral discussion and debate would help to resolve international disputes. ...

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12. Security in Cyberspace: India's Multilateral Efforts

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pp. 217-236

Cyberspace, governed by mechanisms difficult to understand and capable of impossible-to-assess disruptions, has significantly raised the uncertainty in the international system. Coupled with the contemporary shifts in the international balance of power, this uncertainty has posed unexpected challenges for states. ...

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13. India and International Financial Institutions and Arrangements

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pp. 237-260

India’s engagement with international financial institutions (IFIs) and other institutional arrangements governing global finance commenced even before independence, when the country participated in the Bretton Woods conference in 1944. Recently discovered transcripts of the Bretton Woods conference reveal that even though India was still a colony, ...

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14. Of Maps and Compasses: India in Multilateral Climate Negotiations

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pp. 261-280

India has taken a remarkably consistent approach to global climate negotiations: a principled position on climate change founded on attention to equity dimensions of the problem. This stance, which is the setting on a metaphorical compass that has guided the last two decades of Indian climate policy, ...

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15. India's Energy, Food, and Water Security: International Cooperation for Domestic Capacity

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pp. 281-302

In recent years, higher and more volatile energy and food prices have pushed natural resources toward the top of the international agenda, while water scarcity is a growing threat to industry, agriculture, and energy generation. According to one estimate, by 2030 worldwide demand for food, water, and energy will grow approximately 35, 40, and 50 percent, respectively. ...

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16. India and International Norms: R2P, Genocide Prevention, Human Rights, and Democracy

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pp. 303-318

The doctrine of responsibility to protect (R2P), India’s permanent representative to the United Nations declared in a speech in October 2012, “is the most important challenge that the international community, anchored in the United Nations, is going to face.”1 ...

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17. From Plurilateralism to Multilateralism? G-20, IBSA, BRICS, and BASIC

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pp. 319-340

What is India’s preferred multilateral global order, and how does New Delhi seek to establish it? While this remains a work in progress, several strands of India’s preference are discernible. Since the end of the cold war and the beginning of India’s own economic reforms in the early 1990s, there has been a strategic shift from nonalignment to multialignment. ...


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pp. 341-342


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pp. 343-358

Organization, Back Cover

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pp. 368-369

E-ISBN-13: 9780815725152
E-ISBN-10: 0815725159
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815725145
Print-ISBN-10: 0815725140

Page Count: 358
Publication Year: 2013