Overview – India Strategic Review
In the study of international relations, systemic variables such as balance of power receive considerable attention, and not so much the impact of domestic politics on foreign policy. It is generally argued that the constellation of power relations, and not domestic affairs, defines the behaviour of states. While this argument may hold true in a unipolar or a bipolar world order where power is concentrated, in the emerging multipolar order significant shifts in domestic
affairs are more likely to impact foreign policy making and reverberate across the wider neighbourhood as well. Moreover, political stability or its absence in smaller states generates opportunities for external powers to alter the geopolitics of the wider region.For instance, political developments in the island state of the Maldives have far greater implications for regional stability today than they did in the past. The emergence of a stable government following the Myanmar elections not only allows Nay Pyi Taw to conduct a more independent foreign policy, but also ensures that there is greater order along India’s eastern frontiers. In India’s north-west, however, persistent domestic political turmoil in Pakistan has
adverse geopolitical implications. In terms of systemic implications, the uncertainty that is marking the post-election presidential transition in the United States (US) is generating significant anxiety among Asian powers. Likewise, the shift from a collegium model to an individual-centric decisionmaking process has amplified Beijing’s aggressive and revisionist agenda, which has regional as well as systemic implications.
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