India has lost more personnel on blue helmet missions than any other country’s military. Although Indian officials argue that their country has been dedicated to the U.N. since the days of Nehru, their current attitude to the organization is characterized by a mixture of ambition and ambivalence.
For India, gaining admittance into the club of Big Powers epitomized by the Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council, is a bit like jostling in a crowd to get into an unreserved railway compartment. You do whatever it takes to get in, while those inside the compartment are doing their utmost to keep you out.
Diplomats are rarely dreamers or gamblers. The experience of grinding negotiations means that most ambassadors and their advisers dislike big ideas and unnecessary risks. But sometimes they have to take a gamble in pursuit of national goals.
The United Nations General Assembly met on 18 October to elect five new nonpermanent members of the Security Council. Although the winners will not begin their terms until January, the U.N. is approaching the end of two turbulent years in which three major powers -- Germany, India and South Africa -- have held temporary seats in the council, playing prominent roles in its debates over Libya and Syria.
Does the Elephant Dance? elegantly surveys key features of contemporary Indian foreign policy. David Malone identifies relevant aspects of Indian history, examines the role of domestic politics and internal and external security challenges, and of domestic and international economic factors. He analyzes the specifics of India's policy within its South Asian neighborhood, and with respect to China, the USA, West Asia, East Asia, Europe, and Russia as well as multilateral diplomacy. The book also touches on Indian ties to Africa and Latin America, and the Caribbean.
In the past several years, key governments and multilateral institutions have devoted considerable effort to the task of more effectively integrating development and security policy responses to the related challenges of countries affected by conflict, post-conflict peacebuilding, and conflict prevention. The looming deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, has focused attention on this important nexus and the near impossibility of crisis- and conflict-affected states achieving these goals unless development and security is more effectively integrated.