The Neo-Kautiliyan Facet of Modi’s Neighbourhood Policy: A Non-Western Perspective
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Tribhuvan University, Nepal
South Asian University
Publication date: 2020-06-30
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2020;56(2)
Indian experts in South Asia are often haunted by a conventional understanding that India’s policy towards the small states in the region does not alter with a change of guard. Such understandings specifically hint at the role of the Indian bureaucracy, which is deemed a permanent government and a prominent actor in India’s foreign policy decision-making. On the contrary, several claims have been made about how India’s foreign policy towards its neighbours has been driven by inconsistencies and ad hocism because of the lack of a clear-cut neighbourhood policy. Narendra Modi’s neighbourhood policy is generally interpreted from two conflicting perspectives: either Modi’s neighbourhood policy is a continuity of the tradition, or, if it is not, it is a change. To assess what has been continued under the Modi administration in dealing with India’s neighbours, and what has been significantly altered, this study uses a neo-Kautiliyan approach, i.e. an Asiatic term for India’s neorealist approach, which concurrently foregrounds a non-Western perspective. The reason for using this approach is the wish to discover how far the securitisation of the Indian foreign policy has continued in dealing with small countries. The second objective is to assess how such securitisation has impacted India’s rise, while the third one is to see to what extent India’s rise has been laden with responsibility towards its small neighbours while prioritising its security concerns. Methodologically, this study is embedded in literature review; the materials comprise both academic and general debates on India’s neighbourhood policy, particularly during the Modi administration.
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