Normative Power India?
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A vision of 'normative power India' -a 'righteous republic' influencing the rules of international order not by the use of economic or military means but by principled moral and political argument - was central to postcolonial India's understanding of itself and its role in the world (Vajpeyi 2012). Its first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, envisaged an India 'great among nations, foremost in the arts of peace and progress,' and designed the original version of 'nonalignment' in pursuit of that goal (Nehru 1961a, 3; Nehru 1961b, 29). With that policy, Nehru helped to shape the postwar evolution of international society, working - not wholly successfully-to delegitimize and dismantle the European empires in Asia and Africa, limit the testing of nuclear weapons, and inculcate principles of 'peaceful coexistence' among the new states that emerged from decolonization. But after the Sino-Indian War in 1962 and Nehru's death two years later, India turned away from that vision and sought inste.ad to focus on domestic development and pursuing its interests by more traditional diplomatic and military means, attempting only periodically to influence the normative order of international society.
China, India and the Future of International Society
© 2015 Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. This material has been published in China, India and the Future of International Society by Jamie Gaskarth (Ed.), pp. 89-104, 2015, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield, https://rowman.com/ All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.