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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Four broad themes in India’s foreign policy since 1990 are analysed in this chapter: restructuring of great power relations, reconnecting to the extended neighbourhood, recasting the South Asian policy, and rethinking some of the core concepts like non-alignment. Liberated from the Cold War constraints and in search of capital, technology, and markets in the reform era, India intensified the engagement with the West without abandoning its traditional Russian partnership. It began to rebuild its economic and political ties to the extended neighbourhood, injected greater flexibility into its engagement with the smaller neighbours in the subcontinent, and sought, unsuccessfully, to normalize relations with Pakistan. The absolute increase in its military and economic resources began to compel India to think less like a developing, non-aligned country and more like an emerging and responsible power. India is also struggling to address the tension between the concepts of ‘strategic autonomy’ and ‘strategic influence’.

Keywords: Indian foreign policy, great power relations, extended neighbourhood, strategic autonomy, non-alignment, strategic influence

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