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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Unlike many other aspects of its foreign policy, India’s international development program—or foreign aid, for short—displays a fairly stable pattern of continuity since independence. Although largely focused on South Asia, India has always given aid in some form to the rest of the developing world. Contrary to the claims of many analysts and Indian officials, India’s aid giving is neither unique nor uniquely attuned to developing country needs. Indian aid projects have largely served Delhi’s strategic interests, which used to be primarily military or diplomatic and since the 1980s are primarily economic. However, it is unclear to what extent aid has been effective in securing India’s foreign policy interests. In the final analysis, India’s aid program reflects the regional priorities of a rising power that is not yet able to buy the kind of influence it seeks.

Keywords: India, South Asia, foreign policy, international development, foreign aid

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