India in the eyes of others: world perspectives on India's global role

Simona Vittorini (SOAS, University of London)
Kate Sullivan (University Of Oxford)
Start time:
26 July, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Contemporary readings of India's rise and increasing international influence have been dominated by Anglo-American perspectives. This panel aims to explore vantage points from around the world on a rising India to generate a sense of how India is imagined and understood 'elsewhere'.

Long abstract:

In recent years India has significantly expanded its political and economic power. This has attracted scholarly attention around the issue of the type of power India will become. These accounts have tended to present two contrasting images of India as a new power. One depicts India as a rising power that shows increasing conformity of interests with the established powers. The other is one of a power that is not ready yet to abandon a traditional Southern vision of Third Worldism. However, within the English media and academia the analysis of India's rise has been dominated by Anglo-American perspectives. This is problematic because at a time when the global order is heading towards multipolarity and modes of participation within multilateral organisations will need to expand, it will be important to understand the nature and extent of India's influence in the eyes of multiple global stakeholders. Scholars and policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as many Indians themselves, have very little idea about how India is viewed from other global perspectives. To offer greater diversity in contemporary readings of India's global role, we invite participants to analyse how India is understood and imagined from different country perspectives and through the prism of a number of globally significant issues, process or institutions. Papers should predominantly centre on an official, state-level perspective, and we particularly welcome works which also explore how external perceptions of India match India's own self-image as a global power.