Author Archive

India at the Global High Table

December 21, 2015: The book that we have been working on for three years is going to be published by

Photo: www.brookings.edu/research/books/2016/india-at-the-global-high-table

Brookings Institution Press in the spring of 2016!  We’ve looked at India’s emerging role, global vision, and negotiating style. Read the longer description in the Brookings Press’s preview of “coming attractions.” For those who read our earlier book, How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States, the subject matter is similar, but the story it tells is quite different.

We wish all our friends and colleagues a joyful holiday season, and South Asia Hand looks forward to a new year of news – hopefully more of the good kind.

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Book Reviews – India, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka

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This year’s publications include five noteworthy books on South Asia. Sanjaya Baru’s  The Accidental Prime Minister paints a close-up portrait of Manmohan Singh and Diego Maiorano’s Autumn of the Matriarch dissects the decline of Nehru’s congress and the rise of a more de-institutionalized party in the last years of Indira Gandhi – interesting contrasts to today’s Modi government. Bidisha Biswas takes a close look at how India has tackled internal conflicts in Managing Conflicts in India. Andrew Small’s The China-Pakistan Axis is the first serious study of this fascinating relationship. And Samanth Subramanian’s This Divided Island is an intimate look at Sri Lanka’s war and its aftermath, told in unforgettable vignettes.

Read Teresita Schaffer’s reviews here.

This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy ©, The International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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South Asia in US Strategic Context: India, Sri Lanka

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Read our take on U.S. strategic priorities in Asia, building a network of strong relationships around the region, prospects for India’s economic transformation, and the possibilities and challenges for the new government in Sri Lanka. See Mercy Kuo’s interview with Teresita Schaffer in The Diplomat.

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India and South Asia: Toward Economic Integration

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Since his dramatic swearing-in, in the presence of the leaders of most neighboring countries, India’s Prime Minister Modi has moved smartly ahead with economic initiatives aimed at knitting together one of the least integrated regions in the world, with India’s economy as an engine of growth. India needs to build on this base – and bring Pakistan into the process.

Read Teresita Schaffer’s article in the Brookings Impact series, published June 18, 2015.

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India and the U.S.: Getting More Comfortable

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U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India as the chief guest for the Republic Day celebration was rich in history and pageantry, and produced a wider array of serious agreements than many observers had expected. Perhaps its biggest accomplishment, however, was to take a big step forward in the degree of comfort both countries feel about this complicated relationship. Now the hard work begins.

Read our article published January 29, 2015, on the Web site of Gateway House in Mumbai.

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India and its South Asian Neighbors: Where does the U.S. Fit In?

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Read my article in the Brookings U.S.-India Policy Memo, January 20, 2015.

In seven months in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has established himself as a decisive player in his immediate region, willing to turn on the charm but determined to maintain India’s primacy. His summits with the United States, Russia and the large East Asian powers have had a pronounced economic flavor, and Modi is encouraging these countries to compete with one another for India’s favor. He has made himself the central personality in all these relationships.

Modi sees no U.S. role in India-Pakistan relations. President Obama should draw Modi out on how India expects to exercise the leadership role it seeks, especially on the future of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Read the full article.

Read all the articles in the Policy Memo.

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Sri Lanka: After the Election Upset – What Next?

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January 12, 2015: Maithripala Sirisena, sworn in as Sri Lanka’s president soon after his stunning upset victory in the January 8 election, will have a very different persona from his predecessor. His top priorities deal with domestic governance, and will be tough to implement. He presides over a coalition which has little in common except distaste for his predecessor. His election presents an opportunity to reset Sri Lanka’s relations with India and the United States. To do this, he and his foreign friends will need tact and creativity, and he will need all his political skills to keep the coalition together. A good place to start would be to suspend action on the annual U.N. Human Rights Commission resolution on Sri Lanka while the new team gets its balance.

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Obama and India’s Republic Day Parade

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November 21, 2014: The news was launched on Twitter: Prime Minister Modi, well known as one of the most prolific tweeters among today’s heads of government, had invited President Barack Obama to attend India’s Republic Day parade on January 26 as the chief guest. Within half an hour, the White House had announced (and tweeted) back: Obama was delighted to accept.

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India and the WTO: A Reprieve

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November 13, 2014: The announcement November 13 that India and the United States had agreed on a potential resolution of the dispute that threatened the future of the World Trade Organization was very welcome indeed. One of the comments that appeared on Twitter soon after the announcement was succinct: “Champagne?” The real answer is: no – a nice cup of tea would be more fitting. It will take some work to reverse the damaging impact of the four-month standoff that preceded it, and avoid a repeat.

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Book Reviews 2014 – Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India-US

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Five new books: Gary Bass on US diplomacy, a “forgotten genocide,” and the birth of Bangladesh; Srinath Raghavan on global diplomacy in the same crisis; Hassan Abbas on Pakistan and and the “Taliban Revival”; Haroon K. Ullah on Pakistan’s Islamic political parties; and Rudra Chaudhuri on US-India relations. Read Teresita Schaffer’s review in Survival.

This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy ©, The International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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