India and the Quest for World Order : Hegemony and Identity in India’s Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Discourse

This study examines the world order concepts in India’s foreign policy discourse and how they have shaped India’s post-cold war foreign policy. Given a growing awareness for ‘global power shifts’ and their impact on the world order in the prevalent international relations discourse, this study re-conceptualizes the phenomenon that is subsumed under the label of ‘global power shifts’ through the lenses of poststructuralist discourse theory and postcolonialism as a shift of representational power that challenges the ‘Western’ hegemony in the political and academic domain. ‘Global power shifts’ symbolize a hegemonic struggle for the fixation of meanings by disrupting existing identities, exposing tensions or contradictions in the prevalent conceptions of world order and enabling ‘new’ agents to assert particular representations of the world as universal. This raises the question what perspective on world politics those states that are seen as agents of this power shift have. Against this backdrop, this study seeks to reconstruct the dominant world order models in India’s foreign policy discourse as well as their political and ideological underpinnings and elaborate an interpretative framework for understanding and explaining India’s post-cold war foreign policy.


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