Foreign policy does not exist in a cultural vacuum. It is shaped by national experience and a country’s view of itself. From Chanakya to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two concepts that visit most frequently in Indian engagement with the world – are autonomy and independence in decision making.
There are also four trends that we can trace: messianic idealism, realism, isolationism and imperial influences – ideas that have competed at one time and complemented one another at others.
An examination of India in the context of its history and tradition is crucial in the current scenario.
Aparna Pande’s From Chanakya to Modi explores the deeper civilizational roots of Indian foreign policy in a manner reminiscent of Walter Russel Mead’s seminal Special Providence (2001).
Dr Aparna Pande is director of the Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia at the Hudson Institute, Washington D. C. Born in India, Pande received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, before receiving an M. Phil in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She completed her Ph. D. in Political Science at Boston University in the United States. Aparna Pande is the author of Explaining Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Escaping India (Routledge, 2010) and is the editor of Contemporary Handbook on Pakistan (Routledge, 2017).