Is India Fit for a Role in Global Governance? : The Predicament of Fragile Domestic Structures and Institutions

Wulf, Herbert GND

How do emerging powers cooperate at the global level? India is an emerging power and the government has expressed its aspirations for an enhanced role in the global governance architecture. Is the society prepared for the new global role? The paper analyses how domestic factors influence India’s foreign policy ambitions. The paradoxical social and economic development and India’s internal security problems are described and analyzed in the first section. Section two offers three socio-cultural and political explanations to facilitating an understanding of the globally oriented new foreign policy outlook of the Indian government: (1) the capacity of the society to merge tradition and modernity, resulting in the creation of resilient institutions; (2) the amorphous character of the society that has a distinctive aptitude for vagueness and improvisation to make things work and (3) the competition and cooperation between political actors at the national and federal level that has led to establishing a functioning federalism but also to intensified and partly contradictory developments in the central and state governments’ relations. In this paper I conclude, that the result of the overall assessment of the viability of India’s domestic social structures and political institutions is somewhat ambivalent for its global role. The government has undertaken great reform efforts and institutions are robust, resilient, adaptive and prepared to cooperate globally. At the same time the society still suffers from incoherent economic development with phenomenal growth but repulsive inequalities and poverty. (Author's Abstract)

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Wulf, Herbert: Is India Fit for a Role in Global Governance?. The Predicament of Fragile Domestic Structures and Institutions. 2014.

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