International Relations

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  • Turkish Foreign Policy: From ‘Zero Problem’ to Zero Friends

    Turkish global power aspirations are hindered by a lack of regional influence. Ankara wishes to enhance strategic depth in the neighborhood. Deviating from a soft power approach, President Erdogan has increasingly adopted a confrontational foreign policy.

    November 06, 2020

    Shubhangi Jain asked: With the neo-liberal order gaining acceptance, do we see an end of ideology debate?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: Neoliberalism has actually begun to wane in recent years. America under Donald Trump has been pursuing an “America First” policy. It has unleashed trade and tariff wars against rivals such as China, allies such as Europe, and partners such as India. It has erected barriers to the legal flow of people into the United States. And it has launched a concerted domestic and international campaign highlighting the challenge that Communist China poses to free societies and the international order.

    Suchak Patel asked: How Cold War 2.0 between the United States and China will be different from Cold War 1.0, especially from the Indian perspective? Are strategic autonomy and NAM relevant choices for India in 2.0?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: From the Indian perspective, there are two principal differences between the United States-Soviet Union Cold War 1.0 and the prospective Cold War 2.0 between China and the United States The first difference lies in the fact that one of the protagonists in Cold War 2.0, namely, China, is an adversary that has been in occupation of Indian territory, continues to make claims to other Indian territories, has supported Pakistan against India since the 1960s

    Harshit Rao asked: What is meant by ‘shift from state-centric geopolitics to geocentric global politics’?

    Rajeesh Kumar replies: Traditionally, international politics has been understood as the relations between states. In this international paradigm, nation-states are considered as the building blocks of world affairs. This thinking has also been reflected in the early theoretical approaches of International Relations (IR), which restricted the designation of ‘actor’ solely to nation-states and regarded states as the only entities capable of acting meaningfully at the international level.

    Amit Kumar asked: Has the trend towards multipolarity brought the balance of power theory back into relevance after remaining irrelevant during the bipolar and unipolar world?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: This question wrongly assumes that the balance of power theory was “irrelevant” during the unipolar and bipolar world. It is axiomatic to say that no theory is absolutely irrelevant at any given point of time. All theories try to explain particular facets of reality from a particular angle and draw their conclusions from it. The global reality is so complex that it is impossible to have one overarching theory explaining all facets of it.

    Prerna Trehan asked: Is the COVID-19 pandemic changing the conception of security and alliances in the contemporary world?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic is global in scope and poses a non-military challenge to all of humanity. Yet, instead of boosting the notion of human security, the pandemic is likely to reinforce the traditional conception of national security because it is disrupting the flow of goods and people across borders, ushering in a global depression, reversing the process of globalisation, and turning countries inwards.

    Gaurav Singh asked: What is the difference between Globalisation and Internationalisation?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: Both globalisation and internationalisation imply processes that seek to go beyond the local, national and regional phenomena and bring these together in an interdependent relationship, which make these processes enduring, if not irreversible. However, there are subtle differences between the two.

    Sarfaraz Ahmed asked: What is ‘Resurgence of Political Theory’?

    Rajeesh Kumar replies: In the second half of the 20th century, some scholars announced the decline of political theory. It was overplay of values, principles, and history in political theory that provoked these scholars to pronounce the demise.

    Rahul Dubey asked: As the world is moving towards multipolarity, what are the benefits of the multipolar world?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: A multipolar world is one where power is distributed among several states rather than being dominated by one or two states. During the Cold War, the world was divided into two major power blocs, leading analysts to call it a ‘bipolar’ world.