One of the most important developments in today's changing international system is the emergence of India as a rising power. However, Rajesh Basrur finds that India is beset by serious domestic constraints. Subcontinental Drift explains why India's foreign policy is often characterized by multiple hesitations, delays, and diversions that may ultimately hamper its growth to power.
Basrur analyzes the concept of ‘policy drift’ through the lens of neoclassical realist theory to explain why this drift occurs so regularly in Indian foreign policy and how it affects India's quest for major power status. Using four cases—the India-US strategic partnership, India-Sri Lanka relations, India's nuclear strategy, and crossborder terrorism—Basrur identifies two basic explanations for India's indecision on critical issues, one material, the other ethical.
Basrur develops a fresh theoretical basis for understanding the relationship between India's foreign and domestic policies and introduces a series of theoretical refinements to neoclassical realism. Subcontinental Drift also provides advice on how policy makers might lower the costs of policy drift. This innovative analysis is essential to understanding the constraints around India's foreign and domestic security decisions and how they will impact its rise.
This book will be of interest to scholars of political science, international relations (including Indian foreign policy), ethics, terrorism studies, and strategic studies.
Rajesh Basrur is a Senior Fellow in the South Asia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
List of Tables
1 Rising India and Policy Drift
Part I: Material Constraints
2 The India-US Nuclear Agreement
3 India and Sri Lanka’s Civil War
Part II: Responsibility Deficits
4 Nuclear Strategy
5 Cross-Border Terrorism
6 Considerations for Policy and Theory