Book Review: Manmohini Kaul and Anushree Chakraborty (Eds), India’s Look East to Act East Policy: Tracking the Opportunities and Challenges in the Indo-Pacific

Published date01 April 2018
Date01 April 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 207
more realist, the EU went from focusing on the commercialization of energy
policy to its securitization (p. 110).
The concerns that lie in the grey area between liberalism and mercantilism are
highlighted in the book as the EU supported most of the elements of the Energy
Union proposals that are classical liberal policy tools, but also expressed concern
about Russia’s use of energy as a foreign policy tool and supported broader use of
EU economic power—not just regulatory power (p. 184). The authors argue that
even if some elements of the Energy Union proposals qualify as mercantilist, this
is a distinctly liberal form of mercantilism. It involves the use of hard economic
power in order to meet the liberal goal of building a functioning market in a tur-
bulent world and does so in the context of the EU’s overall liberal grand strategy
in international political economy and primarily relies on regulatory tools. Even
when the EU inclines towards mercantilist ideas and adopts a more assertive use
of economic power, these are liberal mercantilist ideas.
The authors conclude that the Energy Union’s new approach of liberal mercan-
tilism is not simply a matter of classical protectionism (barriers to imports), but
rather a matter of strengthening the EU’s political power and making use of its
economic might to manage its relationship with Russia. Although this need not
alter the EU’s overall liberal grand strategy, it may introduce certain important
mercantilist elements designed specifically to deal with its asymmetric relation-
ship with a major energy supplier (p. 237).
The book brings together high-level contributors from academia and the policy
world in order to shed light on the qualitative shift in the EU’s use of power in one
of its most crucial policy fields. The book thus contributes to the debates on the
EU’s external dimension of the regulatory state and has been an added value for
scholars of EU energy policy. Overall, the book is a must read for scholars and
researchers on the politics of the Energy Union.
Shreya Sinha
Research Scholar,
Centre for European Studies,
School of International Studies,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi, India
Manmohini Kaul and Anushree Chakraborty (Eds), India’s Look East to
Act East Policy: Tracking the Opportunities and Challenges in the Indo-
Pacific (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2016), 300 pp., `1195 (Hardback),
ISBN: 978-81-8274-847-7.
DOI: 10.1177/0020881718791857
Core competency and domain knowledge are excellent indicators of overall suc-
cess whilst forming the bedrock of an edifice, both literary and physical. The book
under review falls exactly in the centre of this sphere of excellence. It taps an

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