National and Transnational Perspectives
Edited By Andreas Hilger and Corinna R. Unger
Foreign Policy and the Success of India’s Democracy Jennifer Bussell What is the role of foreign policy in domestic politics? This chapter poses this question to the case of India, and to the specific ways in which the links between foreign and domestic policy may shed new light on the nature of India’s democ- racy. The ‘surprise’ of successful democratic politics in India has garnered sig- nificant public and academic attention, but the explanations provided have fo- cused almost exclusively on the nature of domestic characteristics and institu- tions. Here, I posit that an analysis of India’s foreign relations in the period be- tween Independence and the economic reforms of the 1990s can further extend our understanding of the ways in which India’s democracy was consolidated. In particular, an evaluation of the contribution foreign policy made to the availabil- ity of resources for offsetting the social costs of industrial development, as well as to the nature of domestic political competition, helps to highlight the need for more explicit attention to the relationship between international and domestic politics. India’s post-Independence foreign policy has, on its own, received signifi- cant academic attention, and for good reasons. India played a formative and leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement, while also maintaining relations, to varying degrees, with both the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War. At the same time, analysts of Indian democracy throughout the twen- tieth century have questioned both the viability and the quality of democratic practice in...
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