West Asia Centre
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  • About Centre

    The West Asia Centre seeks to cover issues, themes and countries of the region which are undergoing rapid political transformation impacting the political and security situation of the region and beyond. Popular protests demanding political and economic reforms and the subsequent fall of some long ruling authoritarian rulers and the rise of Islamists to power have significantly changed the region’s political landscape. GCC-Iran rivalry, Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict, external intervention in the region, and the rise of religious radicalism have further aggravated the situation. The Centre is closely following the unfolding internal political developments in individual countries as well as the regional political scenario.

    The historical shifts in the region and domestic political developments will have a significant impact on India’s external environment. With huge stakes in the region such as energy, trade and safety of Indian citizens in the region, it has become important for India to carefully watch developments taking place in its ‘extended neighbourhood.’ These and other related issues are being focused upon by the scholars at the Centre. The Centre continues to hold regular bilateral dialogues with some leading think tanks in West Asia thus facilitating exchange of ideas and perspectives.

    Current projects being pursued in the Centre are:

  • Linking South and Central and West Asia: Transportation and Energy Cooperation
  • Political transformations in the Arab world and implications for India
  • Regional organisation in Gulf: The Gulf Cooperation Council
  • India-Arab relations and partnership
  • Iran’s domestic and foreign policies
  • India’s Engagement with Iran: Prospects and challenges.
  • Members

    India's Policy Towards West Asia: The Modi Era

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2024
    West Asia holds significant relevance for India due to a multitude of economic, political, strategic and security factors. India considers the West Asian region as its ‘extended neighbourhood.’ Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014, India’s West Asia policy has received renewed attention, marking a notable transformation in its foreign policy approach towards the countries of the region. In recent years, engagement between India and the West Asian region has moved beyond the traditionally dominant spheres of trade, energy and diaspora ties. India has emphasised cooperation in the fields of defence and security, building strategic partnerships and is exploring new areas of cooperation in sectors such as renewable energy, health, climate change, food security, connectivity and so on. Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Think West’ policy has further prioritised engagement with the West Asian countries.

    This book provides scholarly perspectives on Modi’s policy and approach towards the West Asian region. The authors reflect on different dimensions of the India–West Asia relationship, examine the key changes in India’s approach under the Modi government and explore the opportunities and prospects of cooperation in the new and emerging fields. The authors aver that Prime Minister Modi’s continuous engagement with the regional leaders at bilateral and multilateral levels, the convergence of interests between India and the West Asian countries, India’s increasing stakes in the region and a changing perception of India in the minds of regional leaders are some of the key drivers of the fast-growing India–West Asia relationship.

    • ISBN: 978-81-968722-2-9 ,
    • Price: ₹ 1295/-
    • E-copy available
    2024

    Türkiye’s Foreign Policy Under The AKP: Implications and Challenges for India

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2023
    During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, besides the structural factors namely geography, history, politics, international system and the world order, five conjunctural factors dominated Turkish foreign policy behaviour and conduct. These include the Strategic Depth (Stratejik Derinlik) doctrine with ‘zero-problem’ with neighbours embedded in it followed by the Blue Homeland (Mavi Vatan) doctrine focused on enhancing Türkiye’s maritime presence in its immediate neighbourhood and the periphery. Thirdly, and arguably the most important, is the personality of Recep Tayyip Erdogan who as a dominating figure in contemporary Turkish politics has shaped not only the political discourse but foreign policy praxis. Erdogan’s personalised style of interventions has undoubtedly had a profound impact on Ankara’s interactions and engagements with the wider world. Finally, pan-Islamism and neo-Ottomanism are two important drivers in Turkish foreign policy and were visible notably in the Middle East and North Africa region and came into prominence in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. In this context, it is pertinent to ask what are Turkish foreign policy ambitions and how do these impact India? Given that Ankara has expanded its presence, or at least is striving to expand it, in the geographically contiguous Southwest Asia region that connects India to the Middle East, the question how Indian foreign policy should view Türkiye becomes even more important. The bilateral challenges between India and Türkiye make it even more pertinent for Indian scholars and policymakers to take a deep and hard look at Türkiye’s foreign policy doctrines and praxis. This book is an attempt in that direction. It systematically analyses the structural and conjunctural factors in Turkish foreign policy and notes that Türkiye’s foreign policy is embedded in a glorified identification of the past, both Ottoman and Kemalist, and in its geographical location as a multi-regional actor. However, the foreign policy ambitions are limited by Türkiye’s economic performance and political sliding. From an Indian viewpoint, the book identifies Pakistan as a limiting factor so far as the bilateral relations are concerned and recommends that New Delhi should use economic leverage and diplomacy to de-hyphenate the Pakistan factor.
    • ISBN: 9788195189427 ,
    • Price: ₹ 995/-
    • E-copy available
    2023

    India and the Arab Unrest: Challenges, Dilemmas and Engagements

    • Publisher: Routledge
      2021
    This book is a study of India’s political, diplomatic and security challenges caused by the changing geopolitical and security dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Like many other countries, India has been deeply affected by the unrest in the Arab world. As India has several long-term economic, political and security stakes in the region, it has adopted extreme caution in its responses towards the developments in the MENA region since the beginning of the Arab unrest. This book examines India’s policy of non-intervention and opposition to military intervention in the internal and regional affairs of the MENA region. In response to the ongoing conflict, India has engaged with several regional organisations and multilateral forums to work together and find political solutions to the regional conflicts. The book also examines new developments, such as the rise of the Islamic State, and the new security challenges this has introduced. Despite the regional turbulences, the momentum of India’s engagements with the countries of the region has been maintained and India has been building mutually beneficial partnerships in diverse fields. In this context, the book examines the response, approach and the policies India has adopted to protect and promote its interests during the last ten years of unrest.
    • ISBN: 9780367618506 ,
    • Price: £96.00
    2021

    Education System in Saudi Arabia: Of Change and Reforms

    • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
      2021
    This book is a comprehensive study on the education system of Saudi Arabia, placing the reforms and changes it has undergone in the past two decades within the context of the historical evolution of the education system. An education system cannot be seen in isolation of the society; it plays a significant role in shaping the individual, state and the society, that in turn, have a bearing on the education system and its evolution. Therefore, this book locates Saudi education in the backdrop of the changes in the society, how they have facilitated or hindered the education reforms and how the education reforms have impacted the society. The book does not ignore the immediate trigger for the beginning of a comprehensive reforms process but goes beyond it to find much deeper socio-political and economic rationales that paved the way for the reforms. It provides a nuanced understanding of the interplays of various socioeconomic as well as political factors that have shaped the education system in Saudi Arabia.
    • ISBN: 978-981-15-9172-3,
    • Price: 84,99 €
    2021

    Countering The Radical Narrative

    • Publisher: KW Publishers
      2020
    Terrorist groups are driven by extremist political ideologies or distorted religious discourses, which they then propagate through traditional and modern means of communication to wean more recruits to their diabolic designs.

    The indoctrination of these extremist ideologies lead to transformation of law-abiding citizens into violent extremists, a process known as radicalisation. This book proposes ways and techniques for reversing this process of radicalisation by taking the fight to the terrorists in the ideological domain. It proposes ways for developing and launching counter-narrative campaigns against radicalisation in order to drain the ideological swamp from which terrorist organisations continue to rear their ugly heads. This book specifically provides conceptual insights into developing counter-narratives against jihadist organisations, like Al Qaeda, ISIS and Pakistan-based terror groups.

    • ISBN: 978-938-913-771-2 ,
    • Price: ₹.1088/-
    • E-copy available Soon
    2020

    Shared Goals, Diverging Paths: Saudi-Emirati Alliance in Yemen Conflict (2015-2023)

    This article explores the intricacies of the Riyadh- Abu Dhabi alliance in Yemen and the potential impact this has had on the conflict. Specifically, it adopts the theoretical framework of Intra-alliance politics, which integrates considerations of individual and collective interests in coalition, and examines how divergent interests and strategic preferences between the two major regional actors shape the dynamics of the alliance and evolving competitions within it. Further, it also assesses the implications of the discord between the two regional powers on Yemen’s stability.

    January-February 2024

    Transformation of Middle Powers with the Decline of World Hegemony: The Case of Turkey

    Turkey is widely considered to be a middle power in the international system. The authors apply hierarchical, behavioural and ideational approaches to the foreign policy of Turkey: each of the three unveils specific features of Turkey as a middle power in the post-hegemonic world. It is argued that the behavioural approach to studying middle powers should be updated to distinguish ‘benign’ and ‘revisionist’ middle power strategies. The factors contributing to Turkey’s transition from being a benign middle power to being a revisionist one are holistically investigated.

    July 2021

    Discursive (De)legitimization of the Iran Nuclear Deal in Donald Trump’s Tweets

    On May 8, 2018, President Trump withdrew the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Since the JCPOA is endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution and supported by the international community, Trump has had to justify this controversial decision. Based on data extracted from Trump’s Twitter account and taking advantage of Theo van Leeuwen’s (2008) discursive construction of the legitimation model, this article addresses the following question: How has Donald Trump attempted to delegitimize the JCPOA?

    July 2020

    The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks

    Scholars from various academic disciplines have attempted to explain the nature and drivers of the 21st century sui generis phenomenon of radicalization. However, it is rare to find a single book which not only details and builds on the body of work in this still evolving field but also sheds fresh insight into the many unresolved issues that demand fresh perspectives and approaches.

    March 2020

    India-UAE Security Ties: Moving Towards an Enduring Partnership

    Traditionally dominated by the trade, energy and Diaspora ties, the India-UAE relationship has been growing substantially in the security arena in recent years. There are deliberate and robust attempts from both sides to forge strong security cooperation. The high volume of trade and commerce, common threat perceptions such as terrorism and piracy, continuing regional instability in West Asia since 2011 are some of the key drivers of the growing India-UAE security cooperation. Recent high-level visits have provided the much needed confidence to both sides to engage in the security domain.

    March 2020

    Pezeshkian’s Victory and Return to a ‘Balanced’ Foreign Policy

    Masoud Pezeshkian’s victory in Iran’s snap presidential election has unexpectedly brought reformists back to the political arena.

    July 12, 2024

    Erdogan’s April 2024 Visit to Iraq: An Assessment

    Türkiye’s President Erdogan’s April 2024 visit to Iraq saw progress on economic integration projects and security ties.

    June 05, 2024

    Deterrence, Escalation Management and the Iran–Israel Conflict

    Iran and Israel have shown preference for a carefully controlled escalation while avoiding a conflict spiral.

    May 20, 2024

    Armenia’s French Connection

    Armenia–France ties are now shaping regional geopolitics in the Caucasus, and their bilateral relationship has become more meaningful after the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

    April 23, 2024

    The Escalating Israel–Iran Conflict

    Israel’s successful interception of Iranian missiles and drones has restored its image as a superior military power regionally, an image which was dented by the October 2023 Hamas attacks.

    April 22, 2024

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