Publisher: Atlantic Publishers & Dist
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A look behind the scenes of some of India’s most critical foreign policy decisions by the country’s former foreign secretary and national security adviser. Every country must make choices about foreign policy and national security. Sometimes those choices turn out to have been correct, other times not. In this insider's account, Shivshankar Menon describes some of the most crucial decisions India has faced during his long career in government—and how key personalities often had to make choices based on incomplete information under the pressure of fast-moving events. Menon either participated directly in or was associated with all the major Indian foreign policy decisions he describes in Choices. These include the 2005–08 U.S.–India nuclear agreement; the first-ever boundary-related agreement between India and China; India's decision not to use overt force against Pakistan in response to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai; the 2009 defeat of the Tamil rebellion in Sri Lanka; and India's disavowal of the first-use of nuclear weapons. Menon examines what these choices reveal about India's strategic culture and decisionmaking, its policies toward the use of force, its long-term goals and priorities, and its future behavior. Choices will be of interest to anyone searching for answers to questions about how one of the world's great, rising powers makes its decisions on the world stage, and the difficult choices that sometimes had to be made.
"The book which is an excellent exposition, has to be read critically and thoughtfully by our ambassadors, counsellors and others charged with directional changes in India's foreign policy as it portrays the profile from 1947 to 1992 and shifts the paradigm from political diplomacy to economic diplomacy by way of prognosis so as to project India's image with a sophisticated understanding of India's foreign policy." -USI Journal "This book rightly brings into focus the basic change in India's foreign policy from the initial years - a change which has made India more a regional actor than a world actor. It also rightly points out that with the decise of the Soviet Union, the globalization of the Indian economy may lead to the erosion of the independent character of India's foreign policy." --Asian Affairs "The author has made the best use of his opportunity and produced a sharply etched and crisply turned analysis, devoid of all verbosity. Such an exercise, by definition, entails a thorough and perceptive understanding of the ground realities. Nothing could be a happier end-product for the reader." --Economic and Political Weekly "This book strikes a special niche for itself in the limited literature on the subject, owing to the unique structure adopted by the author to narrate developments in foreign affairs of India from 1947 to 1992, and to identify substance from shadows. Books so far have dealt either exclusively with substantive issues in foreign policy or exclusively on the process of foreign policy making. But Professor Kapur has co-relatively combined two areas of interest of every student of Indian foreign policy/policy and process. . . . This book is useful not only for students and teachers of Indian foreign policy but also to policy makers and the general public as well." --Indian Book Chronicle National security. Modernization. Regional primacy. The country's role in the international order. What elements in the decision-making process have governed India's views and actions with regard to these four central sections of its foreign policy? Defining and analyzing these subjects within the historical constructs that have emerged since 1947, the author begins by establishing and evaluating the relative importance of India's policy objectives. Kapur next correlates these objectives to the changes witnessed since they were set, examining both domestic and international factors that have contributed to these changes. Combining a variety of approaches and methodologies, this comprehensive study of foreign policy evolution and function will interest a wide cross-section of readers; scholars of foreign affairs and international studies, diplomats, journalists, and politicians will all appreciate this valuable resource "This is an eminently readable and important work that ought to be consulted by students of Indian foreign policy." -Contemporary Southeast Asia "Kapur's book has much to offer to students, journalists, and practicing--even retired--diplomats." -Deccan Herald "In this short book [the author] has provided a sound analysis under four heads; security, development, regional hegemony and the search for an international role." -The Book Review