The Persistence of Nehruvianism in India's Strategic Culture
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This chapter analyzes India’s strategic culture in terms of the cultural resources on which its strategic elite draws, the main traditions of strategic thought, and their influence on India’s behavior. Main Argument: India’s strategic culture is informed by ideas taken from Hindu texts, nineteenth- and twentieth-century religious revivalists, and modernist thinkers. These ideas shape three traditions of strategic thought: Nehruvianism, realpolitik, and Hindu nationalism. The Nehruvian tradition has been dominant since independence in 1947, underpinning a commitment to strategic restraint; the other two traditions are less influential on policy but important because of the potential alternatives they offer to Nehruvianism. Moreover, if the Hindu nationalist tradition did begin to assert greater influence over India’s strategic culture, Indian behavior would likely remain restrained, as that tradition emphasizes achieving domestic social unity as a precondition for the international recognition of Indian greatness.
Strategic Asia 2016-17: Understanding Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific
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