India rising: responsible to whom?
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). International Affairs © 2013 The Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Special Issue: Negotiating the rise of new powers
Volume 89, Issue 3, pages 595–614, May 2013
How to Cite
NARLIKAR, A. (2013), India rising: responsible to whom?. International Affairs, 89: 595–614. doi: 10.1111/1468-2346.12035
- Issue published online: 15 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2013
This article investigates India's negotiation behaviour as a rising power and aims to help in the mediation of a polarized scholarly debate that either sees India as a ‘natural ally’ of the West, or as an unreformed and revisionist Third Worldist power. It argues that the key to understanding India's negotiation behaviour lies in examining with whom it is negotiating. Rising India, even though it has a closer relationship with the West today than it has for many years, remains a negotiating partner that resorts frequently to distributive negotiation strategies, uses moralistic framing and resists bandwagoning. Its relations with the rising powers, too, reveal some degree of distributive bargaining, and it plays hardball with multinational companies and within international organizations. Interestingly, and in contrast to its dominant bargaining behaviour with these different players, India's pattern of behaviour is different when dealing with smaller players. Here, it has consistently used integrative bargaining strategies, formed southern coalitions and shown willingness to share the burdens of international responsibility. The differences in behaviour suggest that India is perhaps not reluctant to be a responsible power per se, but that it sees itself as owing its responsibility to different constituencies. The conceptualization of these responsibilities is still evolving, opening up some space for negotiation and influence for India and its negotiating partners, with regard to which the article offers some policy recommendations.