Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India's New Foreign Policy

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Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India's New Foreign Policy

By C. Raja Mohan
Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
352 pp. $29.95
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Mohan, a New Delhi-based journalist, has written a well-researched and thoughtful account of the Indian government's reshaping of its policy orientations in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The leadership had to drop its commitment to a planned economy, its support of the Nonaligned Movement (tilted toward Moscow), and its tendency to demonize the West. But just how far India had gone in abandoning old policies and embracing globalization and capitalism became clear only on September 12, 2001, when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee offered President Bush India's full political and logistical support in the war on terrorism. Mohan sets out to explain how India managed this transformation, with behind-the-scenes description of India's leadership reexamining its policies-which had left India far behind China (and most of the rest of eastern Asia) in terms of both economic growth and geopolitical influence-and adopting a new approach. His analysis treats India as a coherent, unitary international actor, attributing almost no importance to the domestic divisions and party differences that others see as central to India's policy choices.