ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ties That Might Bind

The official relationship between India and Japan has now been elevated to a "global" and "strategic partnership." Understanding this qualitative leap in India-Japan ties is less easy than it looks. An origin story of the India-Japan relations explains how its state today is a reflection of the way Japan has changed in the last half a century.

Hazy Skies

The recent episode of an oppressive smog that blanketed Southeast Asia highlights an entirely new kind of problem in contemporary international relations, namely, the complexity of transnational governance when traditional remedies--from bombs and missiles at one extreme, to diplomatic démarches and summits on the more polite end--are of no use at all. Not only is responsibility and accountability diffuse and spread across a number of actors-- private and public, domestic and foreign--the presence of non-state agents confuses standard diplomatic operating procedures that are designed to respond to the predations of other states.

India's Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier

An exploration of what the Andaman and Nicobar Islands mean to India--as a nation and as a state. This article suggests that the manner in which it has been visualised as a peg in the country's geopolitical strategy reduces the possibilities its location and history provide to India. It further argues that it would be self-defeating to view these islands merely from a geopolitical angle and not factor in the many histories of the people who inhabit it at present.

Tianxia A Distinctly Chinese Vision of Global Hegemony

An exploration of a new Chinese vision of international relations which positions the erstwhile "Middle Kingdom" as the 21st century's lodestar of global stability and progress.

Immanent Crisis over Tibet

Even as Chinese opinion insists that there can be no negotiation with the Tibetan diaspora over the region's political union with China, a fl ashpoint is slowly coming closer. India's festering dispute with China over the border will get more complicated once the issue of Dalai Lama's succession comes up. How well prepared is the Indian establishment to deal with such an eventuality?

Breaking New Ground in Study of Nuclear India

Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns by Raminder Kaur (London and Delhi: Routledge), 2013; pp xv + 304, Rs 895.

Growth and Sustainability

Nuclear Power, Economic Development Discourse and the Environment: The Case of India by Manu V Mathai (London and New York: Routledge) 2013; pp xvii+229; no price listed.

The Risks of Nuclear Power

Designing and running nuclear power requires an entirely different mode of planning and assessment than possible with conventional risk analysis. There is little indication that the existing organisational culture of the Department of Atomic Energy permits such "over-the-horizon" creative thinking as is required.

'Who's Next?' Nuclear Ambivalence and the Contradictions of Non-Proliferation Policy

This paper argues that the limit of conventional non-proliferation policy analysis is marked by the inability to come to terms with the ambivalence of nuclear power. Ambivalence is often glossed over in the literature as "dual use" technology; the "dual use" formulation misleadingly transfers attention to the operator or manager of technology rather than see it as a structural feature of the technology itself. By contrast, this paper argues that ambivalence is not a choice under the control of good or bad leaders. Regardless of "good" or "bad" technological choices made at different points of time, the ambivalence of nuclear technology does not go away. Two cases are explored to assess the impact of nuclear ambivalence on non-proliferation policy: the declarations by North Korea and India that they are nuclear weapons states. In both cases, this paper shows, international policymakers assumed long before the actual decisions were taken that these countries intended to build nuclear arsenals. The international community took "appropriate" action, namely, a coordinated policy of sanctions and technology denial, based on this unverifiable conclusion. This approach had the unintended consequence of reducing the costs of each country's eventual decision to "go" nuclear.

The Future of Indian Foreign Policy

India has failed in its endeavours to gain global influence by mimicking the "Great Powers" and trying to develop its hard power capacities. The declining status of India as a country that once offered a unique and ethically informed view of the world has been partly mitigated by the activities of some sectors of Indian civil society. This offers India a chance to create a forward-looking foreign policy that better reflects its own origins and cultural ethos.

Uncertainty, Knowledge, and Violence in Southern Thailand

This article compares competing analytic narratives that seek to account for the ongoing violence in southern Thailand through a focus on their spatial and temporal variations (when did the conflict begin, where is the conflict located, what are its boundaries) in order to draw out their tacit assumptions and implications. This discussion is followed by an examination of local accounts of the nature and causes of violence, accounts which stand at some remove from scholarly analyses, and which offer a very different picture of the state of affairs in this region. The final section returns to the issue of analytic uncertainty to propose that uncertainty and ambiguity are positive features of the political condition of southern Thailand, and to argue that a decline of uncertainty would be a sign of things getting worse.

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