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

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The ‘Eclectic’ Face of Kautilya

Arthashastra beyond Realpolitik

Kautilya's Arthashastra has increasingly become a source of intellectual inspiration for scholars particularly interested in exploring the possibilities of theorisation in Indian international relations. However, they mostly compare Arthashastra with the works of Western scholars who are sympathetic to the notion of "realpolitik", thereby permanently locating Arthashastra within the confines of Political Realism. This article aims at situating Kautilya on a broader intellectual plane that moves beyond the realpolitik. In order to do so, the article maps the overlap between Arthashastra and a contemporary academic stream in IR - Social Constructivism. It concludes that "eclecticism" or the combination of ideas from a diverse range of sources is an innovative methodology to display the contemporary relevance of Arthashastra.

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