Shaping the Emerging World : India and the Multilateral Order

The five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) – have gained on the world stage and their presence is being felt in every multilateral institution. Among them India – the world’s largest democracy with a burgeoning economy and a long history of engagement with the multilateral order – is of special significance. For BRICS watchers in general and anyone interested in the future of India in particular, twenty-two scholars of international repute have produced one of the most comprehensive volumes on India’s role in the evolving global order: Shaping the Emerging World.

India faces a defining period. Its status as a global power is not only recognized but increasingly institutionalized, even as geopolitical shifts create both opportunities and challenges. India experienced rapid growth through participation in the existing multilateral order—now its development strategy makes it dependent on this order. With critical interests in almost every major multilateral regime and vital stakes in several emerging ones, India has no choice but to influence the evolving multilateral order if it is to sustain its own interests.

If India seeks to affect the multilateral order, how will it do so? In the past, it had little choice but to be content with rule taking—adhering to existing international norms and institutions. Will it now focus on rule breaking—challenging the present order primarily for effect and seeking greater accommodation in existing global institutions? Or will it focus on rule shaping—contributing in partnership with others to shape emerging norms and regimes, particularly on energy, food, climate, oceans, and cyber security? And how much do India’s troubled neighborhood, complex domestic politics and limited capacity inhibit its rule-shaping ability?

Despite limitations, India increasingly has the ideas, people, and tools to shape the global order, in the words of Jawaharal Nehru, “not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.” Will India keep its “tryst with destiny” and emerge as one of the shapers of the emerging international order? This volume seeks to answer that question.

The volume is edited by Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Senior Fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation and a regular columnist on international strategic issues for Mint newspaper in India, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, and Bruce Jones, Director and Senior Fellow of the NYU Center on International Cooperation, and Senior Fellow and Director of the Managing Global Order Program at the Brookings Institution.

Contributors include Kanti Bajpai (National University of Singapore), Sandeep Bhardwaj (Centre for Policy Research, India), Sanjaya Baru (International Institute for Strategic Studies), Navroz K. Dubash (Centre for Policy Research), Arunabha Ghosh (Council on Energy, Environment and Water, India), Richard Gowan (New York University Center on International Cooperation), Christophe Jafferlot (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France), Devesh Kapur (University of Pennsylvania), Tanvi Madan (Brookings Institution), David M. Malone (United Nations University, Japan), C. Raja Mohan (Observer Research Foundation, India), Rohan Mukherjee (Princeton University), Nitin Pai (Takshashila Institution, India), Srinath Raghavan (Centre for Policy Research), Rajesh Rajagopalan (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India), Iskander Luke Rehman (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments), Shyam Saran (National Security Advisory Board, India), Sushant K. Singh (Takshashila Institution), and David Steven (New York University Center on International Cooperation).

Sample chapter: A Hesitant Rule Shaper?


Praise for Shaping the Emerging World

“There is a veritable flood of books on India these days. But this book stands out. With India’s dramatic rise since the 1991 reforms, following China’s even more impressive economic emergence, Asia’s sleeping giants are finally awake. How they fit into the multilateral system is therefore of extraordinary importance to themselves and to the world. This group of world-renowned authors offer a splendid and insightful analysis of how rising India approaches multilateralism. Read and be instructed.”

Jagdish Bhagwati, author of In Defense of Globalization and Why Growth Matters.

Shaping the Emerging World . . . offers a stimulating and insightful look at a diverse range of issues related to India’s growing engagement with multilateralism. This collection of well-argued essays, rich in nuanced analysis, . . . will deepen the serious reader’s understanding of Indian diplomacy in an increasingly multilateral world. This book is a valuable contribution to an insufficiently studied aspect of Indian foreign policy.”

Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, India

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Jul 31, 2013
WPS Sidhu, Bruce Jones, Pratap Bhanu Mehta
South Asia, India
India, South Asia