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India: Emerging Power

India: Emerging Power

by Stephen P. Cohen

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For years, Americans have seen India as a giant but inept state. That negative image is now obsolete. After a decade of drift and uncertainty, India is taking its expected place as one of the three major states of Asia. Its pluralist, secular democracy has allowed the rise of hitherto deprived castes and ethnic communities. Economic liberalization is gathering


For years, Americans have seen India as a giant but inept state. That negative image is now obsolete. After a decade of drift and uncertainty, India is taking its expected place as one of the three major states of Asia. Its pluralist, secular democracy has allowed the rise of hitherto deprived castes and ethnic communities. Economic liberalization is gathering steam, with six percent annual growth and annual exports in excess of $30 billion. India also has a modest capacity to project military power. The country will soon have a two-carrier navy and it is developing a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching all of Asia. This landmark book provides the first comprehensive assessment of India as a political and strategic power since India's nuclear tests, its 1999 war with Pakistan, and its breakthrough economic achievements. Stephen P. Cohen examines the domestic and international causes of India's "emergence," he discusses the way social structure and tradition shape Delhi's perceptions of the world, and he explores India's relations with neighboring Pakistan and China, as well as the United States. Cohen argues that American policy needs to be adjusted to cope with a rising India—and that a relationship well short of alliance, but far more intimate than in the past, is appropriate for both countries.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In a refreshing contrast to the bilge produced by India-bashers, the doyen of South Asian studies in the U.S., Stephen Cohen, has produced a remarkable endorsement of India and its march towards being a power that matters.... Cohen's work must also be read as an introduction to India for a new generation of US policymakers who are beginning to rediscover India, and a comprehensive analysis of Delhi's growing importance to the U.S." —Amitabh Mattoo, India Today International, 9/24/2001

"This book is well researched, thoughtfully presented, and potentially of great profit to readers at all levels. For all libraries." —John F. Riddick, Central Michigan University Library, Mt. Pleasant, Library Journal, 9/15/2001

"Provides a detailed perspective about this democratic nation's history, as well as its relations with Pakistan and the United States." —Anne Wagner, NationalJournal.com, NationalJournal.com, 10/18/2001

"Cohen... has written a timely, comprehensive, well-grounded study of India as a rising power and its implications for the U.S.... In light of the events of September 11, 2001, Cohen's perceptive, insightful, and balanced account of emergent India will be essential reading for U.S. foreign policymakers, scholars, and informed citizens." —S.A. Kochanek, Pennsylvania State University, Choice

"insightful" —Lawrence F. Kaplan, The New Republic, 8/6/2001

"Cohen's classificatory genius is evident throughout the book, beginning with a dissection of the world outlooks of India's strategic elites.... Cohen wraps up this eminently researched and intuitive study with the confidence that India has begun overcoming many of its deficiencies and has discovered new strengths.... The author has done ample justice to his reputation as the maestro of South Asian security studies." —Sreeram Chaulia, AsiaTimes.com, 3/30/2002

"Cohen works from a grand geopolitical perspective, employing theories of international relations, to focus on India's trajectory in the 1990s." —Lucian W. Pye, Foreign Affairs, 1/1/2002

"An inspector-general's report on India's fitness for a serious role on the world stage... Mr. Cohen does not miss much. He delves into the bureaucracy, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the military, parses the ideologies that shape policies and gauges the likelihood of swift economic growth." — The Economist, 5/25/2002

"Widely acclaimed." —Sonia Trikha, The Indian Express, 8/30/2001

"A fabulous tour d'horizon of modern India's strategic past and a valuable reflection on its prospects in the international system." —C. Rahamohan, The Hindu, Hinduonnet.com, 9/2/2001

"Its historic sweep is comprehensive, the language easy to read; but its most attractive feature is the author's grasp of the big changes in India's foreign policy landscape during the past decade.
This is a work of scholarship of a caliber usually reserved for specialist literature on specific issues. On the jacket of the hardcover edition, Ashley Tellis of RAND Corporation comments that the book 'will introduce India to a new generation of Americans.' Certainly true, but as someone who already knew India, I found it also served to continue my own education." —Sudheer Apte, DesiJournal.com

"With the assurance of an Old India hand, Cohen fills out the story of India's albeit slow march into the ranks of consequential powers, filling in the historical mosaic, where necessary, with relevant bits of ancient, Mughal, and colonial history.... Among the many virtues of this volume is that, like Cohen's earlier books, this one too is an easy read without any of the 'comparative politics' jargon that American academics are prone to using." —Bharat Karnad, Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at Centre of Policy Research, The Book Review, 10/1/2002

"Cohen's book is an excellent study, presenting strong and convincing arguments about the dynamics of India's transformations in the 1990s and their impact on the country's international roles." —Christian Wagner, Internationales Asienforum: International Quarterly for Asian Studies, 2/1/2003

"India: Emerging Power is an objective, lucid and incisive analysis of India's emerging role in the global village...Cohen's book is an outstanding work of scholarship that deserves serious consideration by historians and strategists." —Shaharyar M. Khan, Dawn, 10/13/2002

"Steve Cohen's mastery of India, and India's security and military strategy, and the dramatic changes which have taken place in India since Independence are well and clearly presented in this informative and well-informed new book. A must for all who want to understand India's emerging place in the region and the world." —Ambassodor Thomas R. Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to India

"...Layperson and expert alike will benefit from a thorough reading of this extraordinary work." —Marshall Bouton, Executive Vice President,The Asia Society

"With Indo-U.S. relations moving from estrangement toward a possible entente, it is more important than ever that policymakers in Washington have a solid grasp of what makes their Indian counterparts tick.... readable book provides just this.... fills a major gap in our current understanding of the world's largest democracy." —Ambassador Dennis Kux, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

"For both policymakers and scholars alike, this book provides all the reasons why the United States ought to take India seriously as a rising power." —Ashley Tellis, Rand Corporation

Product Details

Brookings Institution Press
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Meet the Author

Stephen Philip Cohen is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of classic books on India's and Pakistan's armies and the widely praised India: Emerging Power (Brookings, 2001). He was a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. Department of State and before joining Brookings was a faculty member at the University of Illinois.

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