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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Indian foreign policy under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (1984–89). It argues that during these years, Indian foreign policy was significantly reoriented. Gandhi made important moves to recast India’s relations with the United States and China. Although no major breakthroughs were achieved, his engagement with them set the tone and pattern for the approach and policy of all subsequent governments. In India’s own neighbourhood, his policies had a more activist edge. But the outcomes were mixed. Perhaps the most fundamental shift in foreign policy was Gandhi’s recognition that India’s modernization and economic development required greater and more adroit engagement with the world and that foreign policy had to be geared towards securing these objectives.

Keywords: Rajiv Gandhi, United States, China, foreign policy, India, modernization, economic development

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