India’s Look East Policy seems to offer huge potential and developmental scope for India’s North Eastern Region. However, there is an absence of sincere dialogue between the northeastern states and the center, resulting in an obvious gap between policy and implementation.
Editorial Note: While this paper was originally written in 2010, it brings about important perspectives on the developments of India’s internal and foreign relations. For this reason, we found merit in publishing this previously unpublished paper, even though it does not account for developments post 2010.
By Sabina Yasmin Rahman, 15th May 2013
In the year 1991-92, under the then Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao, India launched its “Look East” Policy (LEP), an active economic policy of engagement with Southeast Asia to be implemented as an official initiative in achieving two objectives: the encouragement of trade links with individual partners and to provide foreign employment for India’s own expanding work force. This paper is an attempt to critically analyze the various underpinnings of this policy and study the impact it has been able to make so far with special reference to the context of the North-east of India.
Backdrop of the Policy:
With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War and the onset of the era of globalization and economic liberalization, the need to secure international trade and encourage foreign investments was felt strongly by nations all over the world. The 1990s was a period seeing rapid economic development and growth of Asian countries, especially in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia came to be recognized a region with vast economic potential and the Indian sub-continent was fast emerging as an economic and political force to be reckoned with. This is when the Indian leadership came up with the concept of “Look East”. India sought to create and expand regional markets for trade, investments and industrial development. It also began strategic and military cooperation with nations concerned by the expansion of China’s economic and strategic influence. Thus, from the very start, India’s strategy has focused on forging close economic and commercial ties, increasing strategic and security cooperation with emphasis on historic cultural and ideological links.
In this essay, the author explores how globalization of Israeli capital has undermined the ideological thrust of Zionism in constructing policies towards Occupied Palestinian Territories.
By Kanchi Gupta, 27th August, 2012
This essay demonstrates that while Zionist ideology is predicated on the expansion and territorial integrity of ‘Eretz Israel’, the nature of its administrative regime was steered by Israel’s internal socioeconomic dynamics. Israel’s sui generis ‘instrumentalization’ for the ingathering of global Jewish diaspora and resulting ethnic make-up, as well as social democratic, secular and religio-national ideological preferences are inclusive of Israeli political structure. However, as Israel’s economy opened to global capital, neoliberal capital interests spilled across borders and determined the construction of Israel’s policies in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Therefore, the essay determines that Israeli policy outlined below must not be viewed solely through the lens of ideologically driven military conflict. Rather, Israel’s military policy is an amalgamation of its economic and political strategies, which have further created transnational neoliberal economic imperatives.
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In this essay, the author assess the threat of China’s increasing demand of energy and whether conflict is imminent. The author analyzes the cases of potential conflict, particularly in the East China Sea and the Middle East. The probability of conflict is then assessed in each of these cases in accordance with recent developments.
By Abd Al-Aziz Abu Al-Huda, 20th April, 2012
Access to energy resources is a vital ingredient to the economic and military development of any state in the international system. Yet, within the past two decades, China’s quest for energy resources has particularly generated much debate and criticism. The commonly held opinion is that China’s pursuit for energy resources is a prelude to conflict with the International community because China poses a long term threat on energy supplies. However, such observations have been criticized by scholars such as Kung-wing Au and Hongyi Harry Lai, who emphasize that China’s growing demand for energy has in fact increased its vulnerability resulting in gradual cooperation.
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In this essay, the author analyses the last conflict in Western Europe as the Basque clandestine group ETA declared on October 20 a permanent cessation of all armed action.
By David J. Franco, 5 Nov, 2011
On October 20th the Basque group ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna – Basque Country and Freedom) declared the complete cessation of all armed action. This essay analyses the process leading up to such declaration, the questionable participation of international groups and stakeholders in the so called peace process, and the road ahead. The first section provides an overview of the historical background of the conflict. The second section continues with an account of the latest developments since ETA unilaterally broke negotiations in 2007. The closing section is a critical analysis of the conflict as it stands today.