India's foreign policy under a Narendra Modi—led government

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

ASARC Seminar

Date & time

Wednesday 16 July 2014


Coombs Seminar Room B, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Dr Ashok Sharma, Honorary Research Fellow, Politics and International Relations, The University of Auckland.


Raghbendra Jha

India, with its rising economic and military profile, has taken resolute steps to reformulate its foreign policy in the last two decades. But in recent years India has suffered from an ineffective foreign policy and a meek response to the external security challenges. The 2014 election has given a clear mandate to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader Narendra Modi. The new prime minister will have to set out exactly how he plans to fix the economy and address other pressing domestic issues. While there is likely to be continuity in India’s overall foreign policy, some changes can be expected. In its manifesto, the BJP emphasises India’s goal of achieving its rightful place in the world through the centuries-old tradition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam (the world is a family). The manifesto clearly states that India should develop a ‘web of allies, a ‘zero tolerance’ of terrorism, and reconsider the nuclear doctrine of ‘no first use’ to deal with new geo-strategic threats in the region.

Given the mandate, the public’s expectations, the past record of the BJP, and Modi’s reputation as an economic performer as well as a hard line nationalist, it is likely that India will move towards a more assertive foreign policy.

This seminar paper presentation will examine India’s foreign policy and the changing global balance of power with a focus on 1) its immediate neighbourhood, 2) the Indo-Pacific region, 3) the two Asian giants China and Japan, and 4) the future of India’s strategic partnership with the United States.

Dr Ashok Sharma is an Honorary Research Fellow in Politics and International Relation at the University of Auckland. Prior to joining the University of Auckland as a Lecturer in Politics, Ashok was a visiting academic at the University of Waikato and an Endeavour Post-Doctoral Fellow at RSPAS, Australian National University . He has taught Political Science at Delhi University and worked with New Delhi- based strategic and foreign policy think tanks. Dr Sharma holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science from Ramjas College, Delhi University; an MA in Political Science; and a MPhil and a PhD in American Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Ashok is also a Fellow at the New Zealand-India Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington and Deputy Chair of the NZIIA, Auckland Branch. He teaches ‘Great Power Relations’ and ‘International Security and Conflict’ and his research is focussed on India-US relations, American and Indian foreign policy, and international security issues. Currently, his two books are in progress Lobbying, Indian American and the US-India Relations: An Insight in to the Growing influence of Indian Lobbying in the United State and The India-US Strategic Partnership in the 21st Century.

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