This symposium volume by mainly American authors analyzes India's successes and failures in trying to become a bigger player in international politics. Robert Hathaway recounts how Washington's efforts to thaw relations with New Delhi have run into difficulties because of divergence over nuclear proliferation, China, India's economic liberalization, and tensions with Pakistan. Stephen Cohen takes on the troublesome but persistent Kashmir problem. John Garver explores the asymmetrical perceptions of threat that plague India-China relations. It becomes clear that India is still paying for its costly commitment to the losing side in the Cold War. The war on terrorism since September 11, 2001, has helped give India a slightly stronger voice internationally. But years of naive belief in their own rhetoric about being the leader of a significant Nonaligned Movement has left Indian leaders unsure of how to present themselves internationally or even as a regional power in South Asia. The rise of a mindless form of Hindu nationalism further muddies the waters. Although most of the authors are cautiously optimistic, this useful set of essays illuminates the obstacles that get in the way of India's playing a larger international role.
Get the latest book reviews delivered right to your inbox.