February 26, 2018: This year’s crop includes three masterful books about India. Shivshankar Menon, known to many of our readers as one of the leading lights of Indian foreign policy, has written a slim volume, Choices, about key points where India was forced, however reluctantly, to choose between two incompatible policy paths. This is a problem it will confront more frequently as its power expands. Vinay Sitapati’s Half Lion sketches the life of Narasimha Rao, whom the author regards as one of the unsung heroes of recent Indian history. Milan Vaishnav has brought political science to life with When Crime Pays, about the relationship between money and muscle in Indian politics. On the Pakistan side, Owen Sirrs has tried to demystify the ISI – Inter Services Intelligence Directorate. And Daniel Haines’ Rivers Divided looks at the Indus Waters Treaty – the most durable accord between India and Pakistan – from the perspective of the negotiating constraints on both sides.
Kishan Rana’s review of our India at the Global High Table appeared in the October 2016 issue of The Book Review, New Delhi. The book was published in India by HarperCollins in July 2016, and in Washington by Brookings Institution Press in April 2016. Read the review here. A short review from the September issue of Foreign Affairs appears here.
September 21, 2016: Five interesting additions to the South Asia literature this year. Robert Crews’ Afghan Modern depicts Afghanistan as a nation formed by intense interaction with global powers – an arresting thesis, though he left out some important counterweights. A.S. Dulat, Indian intelligence chief with deep experience in Kashmir, gave us Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years, an irreverent and surprisingly sensible account whose punch line was that talking to everyone is the only way out of today’s impasse. Mark Salter’s To End a Civil War goes deeply into Norway’s effort to resolve Sri Lanka’s two-decade ethnic conflict. Somini Sengupta, a New York Times reporter who spent years in India, provides an extraordinary picture of the “New India.” And Alex Vatanka’s Iran and Pakistan is, surprisingly, the first serious book I have seen on that important relationship.
May 10, 2016: Introducing India at the Global High Table at the Richmond World Affairs Council, we discussed emerging India’s international role, focusing on the main themes of its foreign policy, the competing visions of India’s role in the world, and some examples of India’s negotiating Style. Books are available at Brookings (http://www.brookings.edu/research/books/2016/india-at-the-global-high-table), at Amazon, and in book stores. The text of our remarks follows:
Good evening. It’s a great pleasure for my wife and me to come here to Richmond to talk with you about India and the book we’ve written about the drivers of its foreign policy and diplomatic practices. The two of us have spent a good deal of time as State Department officials working in India and dealing in Washington with Indian Continue reading “India at the Global High Table: Remarks at Richmond”