Bringing the Region Back In? Deciphering India's Engagement with South Asia

NOREF Report, February 2016

8 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2016

See all articles by Jayashree Vivekanandan

Jayashree Vivekanandan

South Asian University

Jason Miklian

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO); University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment

Date Written: January 15, 2016

Abstract

How does India envision South Asia? What do Indian policymakers envisage the country’s regional role to be? The issues and actors that dominate India’s regional foreign policy give a glimpse of the country’s priorities in the region. The much-touted “shift” in Indian diplomacy under Narendra Modi offers us a window into the priorities of the new government and the extent to which continuity from the past shapes its regional policy today. This report explores how India works both above and below the regional level in an effort to secure its regional diplomatic and economic priorities. It examines the following five issue areas that have influenced India’s relations with its neighbours: the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India as a humanitarian actor, supraregionalism and subregionalism, border politics, and democratisation. The report closes with reflections on what implications these engagements might have for Indian foreign policy in the future, arguing that a more inclusive and engaged leadership by India could help to resolve some of South Asia’s most vexing and intractable challenges.

Keywords: India, foreign policy, Narendra Modi, BJP, humanitarianism, regionalism, border politics, subregionalism, democratization, economic development, aspirational politics, business and foreign policy, developing world, democracy

JEL Classification: O18, R58, O19, O2

Suggested Citation

Vivekanandan, Jayashree and Miklian, Jason, Bringing the Region Back In? Deciphering India's Engagement with South Asia (January 15, 2016). NOREF Report, February 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2772132

Jayashree Vivekanandan

South Asian University ( email )

Akbar Bhavan
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi, IN Delhi 110021
India

Jason Miklian (Contact Author)

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment ( email )

P.O. Box 1116 Blindern
K1A 0G9
0317 Oslo
Norway

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