19 Feb 2008

India as a Foreign Policy Actor – Normative Redux

Radha Kumar

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This paper analyses India’s behaviour as a foreign policy actor by looking at India’s changing relations over the past decade with the EU, US, China, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal and, in a historical departure, the former princely state of Sikkim. It argues that though India has almost always been a normative actor, Indian foreign policy is today transiting from abstract, and frequently ‘unrealpolitik,’ views of what constitutes normative behaviour. India’s ‘Look East’ policy has been the cornerstone of this transition, indicating that economic growth, maritime capability and peace and stability in its neighbourhood are key goals of India’s present behaviour as a normative foreign policy actor.