Understanding India

Within a shifting world order, an emerging India is searching for its footing in international relations. Expectations of nascent global influence are high. But the country still falls short of a proactive role in international affairs. At times, India comes across as a difficult partner. For the West to develop a more harmonious relationship with the Asian power it must better understand India and the factors behind the country’s external policies. First, it is necessary to identify the differences between its worldview and that of established powers. The European Union (EU) would err in thinking India is simply part way along a path of convergence towards Western norms and standards. Appreciating the deeply embedded causes of India’s worldview can help the EU mitigate the reserve in its relations with the Asian power.

India’s foreign policy is still relatively embryonic, prudent and constricted. It is driven by self-interest and a policy of non-interference. India is incredibly wary of the tag of hypocrisy often attached to the West. India must not be expected to mould its policies entirely around the norms set by declining Western powers. The new multipolar world order is clearly attractive to India. It allows for more inclusivity, greater equality and a larger say for emerging powers. India increasingly realises that in this new order silence and abstention reverberate loudly. The new order will be strongly conditioned by emerging nations’ own search for new identities. Here are the factors that can help to understand and react productively to India’s evolving foreign policy.

Full article: Understanding India (Eurasia Review)

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