Middle Power or Multipolar Player? Indian Grand Strategy and Partnership with the West

Date

2024

Authors

Gilliam, Aubrey

Access rights

Worldwide access

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Abstract

India has over two centuries of tumultuous history with China, due in part to the critical territory they share at Aksai Chin. Recent tensions along this border have prompted a significant shift in Indian foreign policy. Deviating from India’s historical nonalignment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warmed to the West, taking advantage of their common concern over China’s growing power. But while India may converge with Western security strategies where convenient, it will never form a major military alliance with the West. When countering China, India desires the flexibility to fight without the censure of a larger coalition. Such strategic autonomy is consistent with India’s independent character and foreign policy outlook. Ultimately, India is not content to plateau as a Western middle power — it insists on becoming a multipolar player on its own terms.

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Keywords

Grand strategy., Indian politics., Great power politics., Aksai Chin., Rise of China.

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