Jadavpur Journal of International Relations

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Explaining India’s Approach to Responsibility to Protect

    India has been alleged for adopting a reluctant approach to the doctrine of responsibility to protect (R2P). In light of this allegation, this article explains India’s approach to R2P and attempts to answer why India has adopted a cautious and reluctant approach. To give a comprehensive picture and provide a compelling account of India’s cautiousness and reluctance, this article uses an eclectic approach. The systemic and domestic variables, along with normative and materialistic factors, have been taken simultaneously into account. It points out that India’s approach to R2P is shaped by a set of six variables—historical legacies, especially India’s colonial experience and its applications for its attitude towards the principles of non-intervention and state sovereignty; domestic compulsions such as failure of India to deliver inclusive and equitable development and ensuring human rights and citizen’s dignity in remote areas; the intentions of the great powers; security concerns like insurgency in various parts, including Kashmir; its approach to the doctrine per se; and unintended consequences of conflict escalation and its implication for India—have been a linchpin in shaping India’s approach. It demonstrates how these factors have cumulatively shaped India to neither vote in favor of intervention nor stand up with the governments that fail to protect their citizens, and thus fall in fulfilling their obligations under the first principle of the doctrine of R2P.

  • The Democratic Peace Theory: Is War a Means to Peace?

    In the twenty first century, the idea of democracy has transcended its original conception of domestic governance to actively influence international relations. The nature of state—democratic or nondemocratic—has come to determine hierarchy, alliances, and status in international relations. It tends to bestow a degree of moral superiority to democratic states in dealings of international relations. This moral superiority in its most aggressive form, in the past two decades, has led to wars in the name of democracy. It has been used to justify military intervention in nondemocratic states by democratic nations. The use of force to bring about desired consequences has become the norm in inter-state relations. The focus is not on the action, but on its intent. This article studies the use of force and war by Western democratic countries to establish democracies through military intervention in other parts of the world. The article analyzes the widespread impact of foreign policies of the stronger nation-states and seeks to understand if the desired results are achieved or not. Beginning with the democratic peace theory that is held in high opinion by democracies of today, the article moves toward Immanuel Kant and his idea of perpetual peace. The democratic peace theory finds its base in Kant’s perpetual peace and finds an echo in Western democracies’ foreign policies. The article then sees how this theory is used to justify war, through the case study of Afghanistan, and what is the intention behind the wars. The article concludes that the desired aim of “positive peace” cannot be achieved via violent means. In the process of establishing peaceful and healthy democracy, Kant’s categorical imperatives are crucial.

  • Shashi Tharoor and Samir Saran, The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative
  • The Coronavirus Pandemic and Global Governance: The Domestic Diffusion of Health Norms in Global Health Security Crises

    The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic demands imperative discussions in the field of health security and global governance. Traditional studies on health care and global governance have acknowledged the significance of “global” as it rested on the fact that epidemics and pandemics are not restricted within national boundaries. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the hierarchical division of norm diffusion. Despite the structural inequalities, the patterns of behavior of various countries, such as China, the USA, Italy, South Korea, and India, in managing the crisis suggest a favorable ground for bringing in the importance of national-level decision-making in the global versus local debate. Building upon the arguments from norm theories of diffusion, the article contributes to our understanding that for an effective analysis of the politics of global health governance, the power of local channels in the diffusion of essential health norms cannot be undermined. The article studies the role played by the local-level diffusion processes, in this case, the national state actors in reshaping and integrating essential health norms to make it workable for broader global relevance. As a result, following the norm theories of diffusion, this article analyzes the global–local dynamics with regard to public health in the context of the spread of the COVID-19 health security threat.

  • Twenty-First-Century Hyper-power, China or USA: Is Demography the Determinant?

    In the aftermath glow of the end of the Cold War was seen faintly the swaggering footsteps of a triumphant USA ready to architect a new world attic with the mortars and bricks of its own politico-economic ideology. But the engendered vibe and euphoria bedecking America proved to be ephemeral with its dismal economic straits, failure of overseas military adventurism, terrorist attack on its trade center and loosening grip over global events, rise of other powers, and unwillingness of the world to kowtow to American lines. China, in contrast, showed ascendancy in economic growth, rising productive forces, military modernization, and ambitious global designs, giving rise to the neorealist zero-sum understanding that eclipsing USA has lent to the ascent of China in the global scene. But this kind of analysis is mostly founded on traditional paradigm of politico-military and economic power. What is primarily ignored or marginalized in the analysis of power structure in global politics is the demography, that is, aging population structure. The present article focuses on aging population structure of the USA, China and other great powers and tries to challenge this traditionally ingrained understanding of power structure and holds on to the view that if the current population structure is any indication, America will rule the roost in global politics.

  • The Depiction of ‘Orthodoxy’ in Post-Soviet Space: How Vladimir Putin Uses the Church in His Anti-Western Campaign

    This article seeks to examine Russia’s recent interest in uplifting the status of Orthodox church as a pivotal factor in the state. Most importantly, the position of Orthodox Church has grown rapidly during Putin’s administration as a solacing factor to fill the gap emerging from the fall of the Soviet Union. The sixteenth-century doctrine propounded by Filofei called ‘Third Rome’, which profoundly portrayed Moscow as the last sanctuary for Eastern Christianity and the nineteenth-century nationalist mantra of ‘Orthodoxy, Nationality, and Autocracy’, is rejuvenated under Putin as the new ideological path to move away from the Western influence. Specifically, it is an evident factor that ideological movement that rigidly denies Russia’s hobnobbing with the Liberal West is rather intensified after the Crimean crisis in 2014. Under this situation, Putin’s usage of Orthodoxy and Russia’s spiritual legacy stands as a direct political tool, expressing Russia’s uniqueness of the global affairs. This article will critically examine the historical trajectory of the Orthodox Church in Russia as an indicator of its distinctiveness.

  • The Politics of Human Rights Diplomacy

    The issue of Human Rights features as a prominent agenda of the United Nations and its related international organizations. However, when it comes to precise formulation of a country’s foreign policy in bilateral or multilateral forums, the issues of trade and national security find priority over pressing human rights violations occurring within the countries engaged in the diplomatic dialogue. An often-employed reason behind such an approach is the need to respect sovereignty and non-interference of a country in diplomacy. This article aims at analysing the potential which diplomacy holds to pressurize recalcitrant regimes to respect human rights. In doing so, the article tries to explore the ambit of Human Rights Diplomacy and the relationship between agenda of politics and human rights.

  • Situating the Local in Bilateralism: Assessing Local Impacts of the India–Bangladesh Enclave Exchange

    In its fundamental essence, bilateral relations outline a mechanism through which two countries seek to actualize their individual national interests through collaboration on select issues. Such conceptualizations often obscure the relevance of issues and narratives at local levels, which constitute the sites of its practicalization. The predominance of national interest-focused approaches in negotiating bilateral relations, particularly in the sphere of conflict management, often casts aside local narratives underlying the issues and conflicts it seeks to address. The resultant gap between the advocated and actual necessities of resolution at the ground may lead to the persistence and emergence of local tensions subsequent to its ‘settlement’ at the national and bilateral levels. The bilateral resolution of the India–Bangladesh enclave issue presents an interesting case to engage with the conceptual and practical facets of this mechanism of state action and its impacts at the local level. Based on an ethnographic survey of local perceptions of residents of three enclaves in Cooch Behar district, West Bengal, this article will examine the impacts of national interest-based mediation in localized conflicts, to engage the problematic of the ‘local’s absence from bilateralism’s conceptualization in international relations.

  • What does the Data Tell Us About Dominatarian Theory of Regional Integration?

    This article contests that the classical regional integration theoretical frameworks are too broad to bring out conceptual clarity and explain the emerging interstate tensions. The paper identifies two specific indicators that together can explain the dynamics: economic domination and institutional (interest groups) domination. It evaluates the applicability of the Onditi’s dominatarian theory by constructing an alternative thinking framework—regional trade dominance (RTD), to explain the dynamics of the regional integration based on trade data from the East African Community (EAC) Development Strategy, 2016–2021. The paper addresses this conceptual-policy lacuna by demonstrating how Kenya’s economic performance and institutional (interest groups) leverages have sustained its dominant interest, leading to interstate cynicism and mistrust. The persistent mistrust driven by the perceived asymmetric power balance among the EAC Partner States points to the importance of framing the debate in a way that constructs the outcome of the regional integration to accommodate both powerful states and those perceived weak. In this case, the RTD analytical framework, offers the option for constructing the outcome of a regional integration, either as a noun, dominance or as an act of domination.

  • Russia–China–Pakistan Engagement in the Changing Global Context: Scrutinizing the Realist Logic of a Trilateral ‘Axis’

    Russia’s robust engagement with China coupled with the recalibration of its ties with Pakistan, coming at the backdrop of Russia’s increasing estrangement with the West, Pakistan’s dissatisfaction with the USA over the suspension of security assistance, and India’s closeness toward the latter are leading scholars and political analysts to remark that Russia, China, and Pakistan are gradually inching toward the formalization of an ‘axis’ or a strategic ‘counter alliance’ in a bid to push for a greater bipolarity in world affairs. Though there are not enough signs to prove that Russia–China–Pakistan ‘axis’ is a reality, what is of significance is the emergence of converging interests among these three states that is gradually leading toward deeper engagements among them. It is in this broader context that the article will endeavor to analyze the factors propelling such a development and seek to discern the possible implications it may have on the time-tested ties between Russia and India. The study will move beyond the realist concepts of a power-centric and relative-gain approach that presents this trilateral engagement as a ‘counter alliance’ to the USA and India’s supremacy in the region; instead the article argues that the factors as presented in the realist narratives are inadequate to explain the nature of Russia–China–Pakistan engagement in the light of (a) Russia’s invested relationship with India that is steeped in historical nostalgia which makes it highly unlikely for Russia to turn against the latter; (b) second, Russia’s tactical relationship with Pakistan inevitably weakens one leg of the so-called axis; (c) third, Russia’s robust partnership with China invalidates the realist argument that Russia retains an interest in countering China’s growing status as a countervailing power in the region; (d) fourth, the ‘other’ ( i.e., the USA and India) vis-à-vis which the realists attempt to posit the Russia–China–Pakistan ‘axis’ as a counter strategic alliance is itself noninstitutionalized and fraught with many challenges.

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