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Modi Doctrine: The Foreign Policy of India's Prime Minister

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About the Book
Since becoming India's prime minister in 2014, Narendra Modi has been a tour de force in foreign policymaking. A vastly experienced administrator who has held key public positions as chief minister of an Indian state for more than a decade and now as prime minister, he has always seen value in foreign affairs and devoted special attention to it with his unique entrepreneurial flair and coherent set of ideas. Every realm of Indian foreign policy commercial diplomacy, defence diplomacy, diaspora outreach, cultural diplomacy, geostrategy and soft power has been transformed by him with a sense of destiny not witnessed in recent memory. Indians and people the world over have noticed his star presence and are asking questions like
'Why is he investing so much time and energy into promoting India’s international relations and global image?'
'What are his vision and goals for India’s role in the world’?'
'What kind of distinct techniques define his approach to foreign policy?'
'How is he changing India’s self-understanding and preparing it for world affairs?'
This book provides the answers by delving into the mind and method behind Narendra Modi's avatar as India's diplomat-in-chief. It argues that under his able watch, India is heading toward great power status in the international order.

About the Author
Sreeram Chaulia is Professor and Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, in Sonipat, India. He is an eclectic political scientist specialising in both international security and international political economy. He is a contributing editor of People Who Influenced the World (Murray Books, Adelaide, 2005) and the sole author of International Organizations and Civilian Protection: Power, Ideas and Humanitarian Aid in Conflict Zones (I.B. Tauris, London, 2011) and of Politics of the Global Economic Crisis: Regulation, Responsibility and Radicalism (Routledge, New Delhi, London and New York, 2013). He received education from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University; University College, Oxford University; The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. He is a leading opinion columnist for Indian newspapers- the Economic Times and the Asian Age- on world affairs and a commentator on international current issues on radio and television in India and abroad. He has worked as an international civilian peacekeeper in the warzones of Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

268 pages, Hardcover

Published September 1, 2016

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Sreeram Chaulia

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Profile Image for Pritam Chattopadhyay.
1,855 reviews166 followers
July 21, 2023
This book provides an acute evaluation of how Modi transformed India’s tactic and technique towards dealing with the world as an accompaniment to and a subset of his radical modification in governance at home.

For lay readers who follow current affairs, students, teachers as well as practitioners of diplomacy, the book pushes the claim that there is a place for individual personalities in bringing about chief alterations in foreign policy, and situates Modi within the notion of ‘transformative leaders’ who implement fundamental changes with inspirational content, as opposed to routine ‘transactional leaders’ who are content with a diffident managerial style.

If India is today punching closer to its complete potential in the boxing ring of global politics and economics, it is the result of the changes that the prime minister has wrought.

Counterfactually, if Modi had not become prime minister, we would be seeing little to no difference in the country’s conservative manner of conducting international relations.

Before Modi, Indian foreign policy suffered from shortage of diplomatic volume and political will and direction from the top. Modi is yet to reverse the wretched drift of understaffing and under-equipping of India’s career in foreign service corps, but under him, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has invested its own respect and influence to push for a more extensive and global foreign policy.

The PMO has been open to new ideas on foreign policy from outside the bureaucratic environs and has overwhelmed the bequest of narrow-minded navel-gazing and smugness.

Although India cannot match the fat checkbook diplomacy of China around the world, there are more imaginative means for the former to be involved in solving global security and economic crises.

Prudence and responsive thinking, which were the trademarks of India’s foreign policy in recent decades, are being substituted with a more positive and involved ‘big picture’ diplomacy that aims to situate India as a ‘power centre’ or ‘pole’ in the international system which is rearranging global institutions and solving global problems.

The key research questions which buttress this book’s narrative are:

1) What elements of panache and substance set apart Modi’s foreign policy from that of his precursors?

2) What is Modi’s worldview, and how does this fit his political and ideological education as a cultural nationalist?

3) How is Modi observed by his foreign counterparts, in international public opinion and forums, and what does this tell us about the altering image and profile of India?

4) What are the signature attainments in Modi’s foreign policy (both in geographical and thematic terms) and how do they amount to a paradigm shift in India’s relations with the world?

5) Can Modi push India to the status of a ‘leading power’ in global affairs through his innovative diplomacy?

6) What is still missing in Modi’s foreign policy arsenal, and how can he fill the gaps for the rest of his tenure as prime minister?

The central argument of the book is that Modi is globalising and revolutionising India’s foreign policy like no other prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru.

This work is driven by observation and belief that Modi is the right person at the right time to raise India’s international stature to a great power, and that he has grasped this mantle as the centrepiece of a new doctrine to guide foreign policy.

Modi’s unexpected attention to and investment of time and energy into foreign policy, and all that he has accomplished in this field can be interpreted as the elements of a ‘Modi Doctrine’ with unique characteristics and long-term implications.
Profile Image for Sanjay Banerjee.
416 reviews7 followers
June 16, 2020
Completely avoidable book and it took a lot of effort to finish the book! I picked up this book hoping to gain an insight about the Gentleman’s Foreign Policy Doctrine. However this appears to be hero-worshipping of a Bhakt written in 2016 especially as some of the results that the author had called successful lie in tatters a year later!
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