reviews for Survival, the journal of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. One, Shivshankar Menon’s India and Asian Geopolitics, is about the strategic outlook this lion of Indian foreign policy recommends; one, Debashish Roy Chowdhury and
John Keane’s How to Kill a Democracy, is a rather gloomy look at India’s democracy – but it is really a sobering look at the challenges that beset all democracies today. The other two are about Pakistani politics, one by a group of political scientists (Pakistan Political Parties, and the other, by the BBC’s Owen-Bennett-Jones, is The Bhutto Dynasty.
November 9, 2018: Among this year’s good reads on South Asia one is on Pakistan/Afghanistan, Steve Coll’s Directorate S, which picks up the story he began in Ghost Wars about the way these two countries and the United States interacted during the decade and a half starting in 2001. One is on India, a riveting addition to the “New India” literature by James Crabtree, former Financial Times correspondent in Mumbai, aptly titled The Billionaire Raj. The other three look at Pakistan and India: Spy Chronicles, an extended long interview by two former intelligence chiefs from the two rivals, which will probably tell you more about how each related to his own government than about how the two countries relate; The People Next Door, by a former Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan, with a sensitively drawn take on how the two countries look at each other; and Moeed Yusuf’s Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments, about the challenges that a multi-player environment adds to the Cold War era conventional wisdom about nuclear negotiations.