Shaping the Emerging World

Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order

Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu
Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Bruce Jones
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 358
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  • Book Info
    Shaping the Emerging World
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2515-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Part I. Introduction

    • 1 A Hesitant Rule Shaper?
      (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, impending membership in the various technology and supply control regimes, and impressive peacekeeping credentials under the United Nations. As India reasserts itself economically on the global stage for the first time since the 1500s, it will inevitably wield greater international political and, possibly, military influence.¹

      At the...

  5. Part II. Perspectives on Multilateralism

    • 2 The Changing Dynamics of India’s Multilateralism
      (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. As New Delhi confronted these issues in the last few years, its multilateral positions encountered much criticism at home and abroad. Yet there has been no systematic effort to record, assess, historicize, and theorize about India’s rich multilateral experience. Meanwhile, the popular, policy, and academic discourses on New Delhi’s multilateralism are...

    • 3 India and Multilateralism: A Practitioner’s Perspective
      (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, representing India in two different UN forums and at two different time periods. The first part draws on my experience as India’s representative at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva (earlier known as the forty-nation Committee on Disarmament) from 1980 to...

    • 4 India as a Regional Power
      (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. Over the past two decades, however, India’s economic reforms and opening up have unleashed unprecedented entrepreneurial energy and sustained economic growth. The Indian state is steadily, if slowly, translating some of this economic tissue into military muscle. And as with most states, India’s growing power has resulted in a corresponding widening of its own conception of its interests as well as...

  6. Part III. Domestic and Regional Drivers

    • 5 The Economic Imperative for India’s Multilateralism
      (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, with the approach adopted in the political and security field different from that adopted in the economic field. While India has always sought to achieve a “rule-based” multilateral order, it has sought with equal vehemence rules that recognize India’s place as the world’s largest democracy, the biggest developing-country...

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

      This chapter begins with a look at why capacity matters, as well as an assessment of the people and ideas available to the Indian state that could help it to shape the multilateral order. Discussions...

    • 7 India’s Regional Disputes
      (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 and forums is ambivalent.¹ This would not matter much internationally if it were not for the fact that India’s power and influence have increased since the early 1990s and are expected to expand as its economy continues to grow at between 6 and 9 percent annually....

    • 8 From an Ocean of Peace to a Sea of Friends
      (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 of the difficulty lies, no doubt, in the very conceptualization of the region. Should the Indian Ocean be construed as a unified geopolitical space or simply as a series of overlapping, but distinct, strategic spheres? Is it an economic thoroughfare characterized first and foremost by trade and cooperation or a breeding pool for future great-power rivalry, where growing fears of...

  7. Part IV. Multilateral Policy in Practice

    • 9 Dilemmas of Sovereignty and Order: India and the UN Security Council
      (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) as an international norm has diminished, rather than increased, as its power has grown—we call this India’ssovereignty paradox. Second, contrary to what one might expect of a rising power that has benefited from the existing international order, India’s commitment to maintaining this order has diminished as its position has improved—we...

    • 10 India and UN Peacekeeping: The Weight of History and a Lack of Strategy
      (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. As of April 2013, India had 6,851 troops and 1,038 police officers under UN command, representing just less than 10 percent of all uniformed personnel in blue-helmet operations. These overall figures arguably underrepresent the importance of India in peacekeeping, as it offers the UN a range of specialized military assets—such as combat helicopters and...

    • 11 From Defensive to Pragmatic Multilateralism and Back: India’s Approach to Multilateral Arms Control and Disarmament
      (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. In a recent book, the historian Manu Bhagavan goes so far as to suggest that Nehru placed his faith in an eventual global government, “One World,” and pushed his diplomats at the United Nations (UN) to pursue this ideal.¹ Nehru’s multilateralist streak did not always benefit India: his decision to take the Kashmir dispute to the UN effectively internationalized...

    • 12 Security in Cyberspace: India’s Multilateral Efforts
      (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. On the one hand, governments are forced to develop a cooperative mechanism to govern cyberspace and the Internet.¹ On the other, nations need to develop a whole new framework for conflicts in a domain that adds a new degree of unpredictability in the international system and further complicates the existing concepts of national power, rules of engagement, and norms for...

    • 13 India and International Financial Institutions and Arrangements
      (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, the Indian delegation, led by Sir Chintaman Deshmukh, the first Indian governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and later finance minister, was particularly vociferous, questioning voting rights skewed toward Western countries and making it amply clear (to the consternation of the British) that the United Kingdom owed India money and India wanted...

    • 14 Of Maps and Compasses: India in Multilateral Climate Negotiations
      (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, has strong implications for India’s arguments for the relative mitigation burdens of the industrialized and developing world and therefore for India’s approach to multilateralism applied to climate change. Rooted in ethical claims, this view has served Indian interests well in staving off pressures for premature mitigation commitments and placing the emphasis for mitigation...

    • 15 India’s Energy, Food, and Water Security: International Cooperation for Domestic Capacity
      (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. At the same time, climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources.¹

      Food, water, energy, and climate change are policy domains that are enmeshed in a global economy that does not respect national or sectoral borders. Energy drives...

    • 16 India and International Norms: R2P, Genocide Prevention, Human Rights, and Democracy
      (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 Arguing that the initial suspicion of many developing countries toward the newest norm in international relations was misplaced, he supported the need for a “collective response by the international community to ensure that mass atrocities like genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity do not take place.” Explaining why India had abstained on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution authorizing military...

    • 17 From Plurilateralism to Multilateralism? G-20, IBSA, BRICS, and BASIC
      (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. This shift is premised on the recognition of two factors: the emergence of a multipolar world with several distinct poles of influence and the need for India to engage with each of these poles. Second, the importance of multialignment to sustain...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 341-342)
  9. Index
    (pp. 343-358)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 359-360)