In This Review

The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy
The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy
Edited by David M. Malone, C. Raja Mohan, and Srinath Raghavan
Oxford University Press, 2015, 700 pp

As India has become more engaged in the global economy and faced strategic competition from China, it has tried to strengthen its relations with countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and to improve its ties with major powers. But as this collection of concise and authoritative essays shows, New Delhi has been unable to establish the close ties with its immediate neighbors that would provide a steppingstone for exerting significant influence farther away. Nor does it engage effectively with international institutions in the areas of trade, finance, arms control, or climate change. The country’s policymaking apparatus is dysfunctional. The foreign ministry is understaffed and works without significant oversight from political parties, parliament, the business community, media, or academia. The military lacks strategic direction from the civilian authorities, and its service branches barely coordinate with one another. The nuclear weapons program runs on autopilot, and the domestic arms agency has failed to produce high-end indigenous weapons. Covering all these topics, the book opens up many fascinating areas for future research.