India as a Normative Power

AuthorPriya Kumari
Date01 January 2014
Published date01 January 2014
Subject MatterArticles
India as a Normative
Power: The Mixed
Migration Crisis of
the Indian Ocean
Priya Kumari1
India is in the middle of a historic transformation, wherein it confronts a dyadic
situation on whether it will rise as a significant global power in the twenty-
first century. Factors such as modernization, a fast-growing economy, strong
demographic dividend and emergence as the single largest IT cluster on the earth,
strongly resonate with the idea that in no time the world will once again look at
India with regard and respect. However, to a sceptic, one of the major shortfalls in
India’s rise as a global power is its scrupulous reluctance to pursue liberal norms
such as democracy and human rights in its bilateral relations. This article, however,
argues that such a conventional view is too simplistic. Ian Manner gives the
conventional theory of norm promotion. He exemplifies the concept by explaining
the role of the European Union (EU), which is acting as a normative power. In
order to understand, can the same theory be used to explain the norm promotion
by India, the article analyses New Delhi’s response to the mixed migration crisis
of the Indian Ocean. While analysing, the article takes into cognizance the factors
such as the context of South Asia, international law, geo-strategic location and
capability. Based on the analysis, the article argues that India is not the EU and does
not abide by the conventional Western form of norm promotion by putting direct
pressure on another state. Rather, as an alternative strategy, India pursues the
liberal agenda in a non-conventional manner by effectively using multilateral forums
not to superimpose any particular form of norms but assist states in nation-making,
democracy consolidation and ensuring human security.
Ian Manner, normative power, EU, India, migration, Indian Ocean
International Studies
51(1–4) 180–194
2017 Jawaharlal Nehru University
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0020881717718007
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi,
New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Priya Kumari, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Lady Shri Ram College, University of
Delhi, New Delhi, India.

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