‘Rise of India’: Views on the sustenance of the discourse

Date01 June 2011
Published date01 June 2011
DOI10.1177/0973598411110012
Subject MatterArticle
'Rise of India''.Views on the
sustenance of the discourse
Mousumi Dasgupta*
If International Relations is perceived through the conventional lens of
power politics, studies concerning emergence/re-emergence/rise of nation
states - possessing the potential of a challenger to the status quo or
otherwise becomes relevant. The paper is therefore premised in the realist
school of International Relations and argues that the entire body of
literature revolving around the 'rise of India' as a consequential power has
drawn its sustenance from a set of assumptions, which are embedded in the
literature itself. The paper is spread across three sections: the first section
deliberates on the various hypotheses advanced by scholars of
International Relations on the nature of the emergent world order since the
end of cold war with special reference to the notion of multipolarity
underlining the significance of Asian powers; the second section does a
brief literature survey of select works on the discourse of rise/emergence
of India and the final section unveils the factors, deeply embedded in the
literature which have been instrumental to the sustenance of the discourse.
One of the primary questions in the discipline of International Relations
is that of war, the distribution of power, which precedes war and the one,
which would follow the same. Put in a much more nuanced form, it is the
hierarchical structure of states in international relations which breeds
international anarchy in its innumerable manifestations, which at times
become the root cause behind the disaffection of a country powerful
enough to challenge the existing arrangement. The conflict that would
ensue would culminate in a new structure, once again anarchical (since
nation states would inevitably aim at maximization of national interest)
which would have a new pattern of power distribution. Hence, any study
focusing on the rise of a nation-state inevitably premises itself in a realist
understanding of international politics.
It would not be unjust to claim that in the post war world, international
relations and the study of International Relations remained fixated on the
* Research Fellow, School of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Jadavpur
University.

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