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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines ideas about war, peace, and international relations over the century preceding independence, of which there were many more and in greater depth than widely supposed. It outlines how and why Indians first began to articulate views on the subject, and subsequently analyses these ideas. It proposes that, contrary to the opinion of some scholars, Indians thought carefully about the nature of international relations. Most importantly, it emphasizes the plurality of views on the subject, and explains how and why proponents of pragmatism in foreign relations came to be sidelined in the period immediately preceding independence. Several of the personalities developing notions of what a foreign policy for India should involve as of the early twentieth century, including India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, became important actors in formulating and implementing foreign policy post-independence.

Keywords: war, peace, international relations, pragmatism, India, independence

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