The Unfinished Quest: India's Search for Major Power Status from Nehru to Modi (Hardcover)

The Unfinished Quest: India's Search for Major Power Status from Nehru to Modi By T. V. Paul Cover Image
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In The Unfinished Quest, T.V. Paul charts India's checkered path toward higher regional and global status, and sheds important light on its significance as the "swing power" that can mitigate China's aggressive rise in the Indo-Pacific region.

In 2022, India surpassed the United Kingdom, its former colonial ruler, as the fifth largest economy in the world. Since the 1990s, a series of US presidents and secretaries of state have all acclaimed India as a rising major power that deserves to be recognized as a lead actor in the international arena. All five permanent members of the UN Security Council except China have openly acknowledged the need to include India among their ranks. But even now, India has not attained the status of a globally recognized great power.

In The Unfinished Quest, leading international relations and South Asia scholar T.V. Paul charts India's checkered path toward higher regional and global status, covering both the successes and failures it has experienced since the modern nation's founding in 1947. Paul focuses on the key motivations driving Indian leaders to enhance India's global status and power, but also on the many constraints that have hindered its progress. He carefully specifies what counts as indicators of greater status and uses these as benchmarks in his assessment of each era. In this manner, he also brings forth some important insights on status competition and power transitions in the contemporary international system.

Paul's analysis of India's quest for status also sheds important light on the current geo-strategic situation and serves as a new framework for understanding the China-India rivalry, as well as India's relative position in the broader Indo-Pacific theater. As the economies of China and India grow rapidly, the power balance between them will be determined by each country's ability to develop the hard and soft powers needed to outpace the other and solidify their place in the global hierarchy. Whether India can be a "swing power" able to mitigate China's aggressive rise depends on its relative power position in that theater and its own evolution as an inclusive, tolerant democracy that can develop and utilize its most priced asset, the demographic dividend. This sweeping account of India's uneven rise in the global system will serve as the authoritative work on the subject.

About the Author

T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He served as the President of the International Studies Association (ISA) for 2016-17. He is also the Founding Director of the Global Research Network on Peaceful Change (GRENPEC). Paul is the author or editor of 22 books, co-editor of 4 special journal issues, and author of over 80 scholarly articles and book chapters in the fields of International Relations, International Security, and South Asia. His books include Restraining Great Powers: Soft Balancing from Empires to the Global Era (Yale University Press, 2018); The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press, 2013); Globalization and the National Security State (with Norrin M. Ripsman, Oxford University Press, 2010); The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons (Stanford University Press, 2009); and India in the World Order: Searching for Major-Power Status (with Baldev Raj Nayar, Cambridge University Press, 2002). He is the lead editor of The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2021). Paul currently serves as the editor of the Georgetown University Press book series, South Asia in World Affairs.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780197669990
ISBN-10: 0197669999
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: May 9th, 2024
Pages: 280
Language: English