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The Handbook of Global Security Policy by Mary Kaldor, Iavor Rangelov

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Chapter 22 India as a Global Security Actor

Jivanta Schöttli and Markus Pauli

Introduction

Since India gained independence in 1947 it has faced a number of military and security challenges from within South Asia and the neighboring region. One of the least economically integrated areas in the world,1 South Asia hosts three nuclear weapon states: China, India, and Pakistan. After four wars (in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999) and a number of brinkmanship-style crises, India–Pakistan relations continue to be acrimonious, with some describing the rivalry as “conflict unending” (Ganguly, 2002). Despite the unstable regional environment,2 India sought and succeeded in casting an international profile for itself.

India's international aspirations have an important pre-history, which will be covered in the first section, where the idea and practice of non-alignment is explored to highlight and explain its enduring significance in India. India's relevance as a security actor will then be assessed in terms of its activities and capacity to influence developments within two security zones of major contemporary importance: Afghanistan and the Indian Ocean. Finally, a section on constraints and challenges examines India's ability to navigate a multipolar world, the fallout and gains of nuclearization, the 2008 US–India civil nuclear agreement as well as “weaknesses from within” in terms of human security. With sustained economic growth and key investments in military capabilities (see Tables ...

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