Seminar on India's Foreign Policy at 75: Issues and Challenges

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Call for Papers
January 30, 2022
Subject Fields: 
South Asian History / Studies, Political Science, Humanities, Military History, Peace History / Studies

Call for Papers


India’s Foreign Policy @ 75: Issues and Challenges

Department of Political Science

Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi,  New Delhi 12-13 March 2022

Papers are invited from scholars, researchers, and academicians. Abstract of no more than 500 words shall be submitted to 


Last date for submission of abstract: 30 January 2022

Date of intimation of acceptance of abstract: 10 February 2022

Last date for submission of full paper: 12 March 2022

Seminar Co-ordinators Organizing TeamDr. Md. Zubeer Ahmad  Mr. Raju Keshari Dr.  Mr. Pavan Kumar 

Concept Note

India is celebrating 75 years of independence. In these 75 years, India has witnessed many transformations domestically and internationally. The country confronted humongous challenges at the time of independence that were sought to be addressed using varied methods ranging from diplomacy to coercion to integrate a disunited entity British had left. In an eventual process of nation-building, many longstanding principles and doctrines India held dear to its heart came to define what our expectations from the world are and how to materialise them using various instruments available to a nascent country. Like any post-colonial country, India too became boxed in a series of events having strong colonial and imperial imprints both domestically and internationally. The long-drawn freedom struggle taught many lessons to independent India, especially in terms of playing a pivotal role as a responsible international actor. In fact, the long-cherished determinants of India’s foreign policy had been institutionalized well before we became independent. The freedom struggle significantly influenced the responses of our leadership to the issues of colonialism and imperialism to an extent of downright rejection of imperial/colonial behavioural patterns in international politics. Consequently, India expressed unequivocal support and solidarity to those countries that are subjected to exploitation and injustices. The principle of ante-imperialism has become ingrained in our strategic thinking since then and continues to shape India’s foreign policy till today. The Buddhist ideal of peace has always shown the world a way out of the tribulation of power politics which culminated in two world wars. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi as a staunch advocate of non-violence and national freedom, Dr. B. R. Ambekdar as voice of the voiceless, Sardar Patel as a great unifier, Nehru as a nation builder personified India’s capability to emerge as a global leader of peace, prosperity and progress. The strategies adopted by great Indian leaders became inspirational for many world leaders who were fighting against disunity, injustices and domination. In an era of power politics and confrontation, India became a beacon light for many third world countries by proposing and institutionalising an idea of non-alignment which later on became a major defining element of world politics. The Non-Aligned movement offered the countries a strategic alternative to escape the power politics which was enmeshing the whole world. India along with Egypt, Yugoslavia, Ghana provided a moral force to the battered third world from falling into the same mesh. The principle still constitutes the mainstay of India’s foreign policy. India’s role in South Asian politics is decisive and viewed primarily from the vantage point of through India-Pakistan conflict. The partition between two countries changed the geopolitical landscape of the Indian subcontinent once and for all. The legacy of partition came in the form of wars fought one in the immediate aftermath in 1948. The conflict saw India to prepare militarily for any other such eventuality in future. The high-water mark came in 1971 when India decisively defeated Pakistan and catalysed the creation of another country to its East Bangladesh. Thus, completely changing the map of South Asia. However, the challenges still remain at the strategic and at sub-conventional level due to Pakistan funded terrorism. On the North-Western front, India and China came at loggerheads in 1962 following a series of miscalculations and misunderstandings. The long-cherished dream of Asian solidarity got severed with a bare chance of recovery. Now, China has emerged as a superpower in our neighborhood having serious implications for the country. The border dispute which brought us face to face in 1962 has not been resolved and has become somewhat festering. Recent incidents of border incursions including Doklam standoff and tensions in the Galwan Valley claiming many lives on both sides exacerbated conflict and hostility. The challenges posed by China are at multiple levels. The economic clout of China has started to manifest itself in the politico-strategic domain, be it global infrastructural build-up (Belt and Road Initiative), institutional setup such as NDB and BRICS bank and weaponising supply chains or military muscle-flexing at home and abroad. At the political level, the often-fierce blitzkrieg against democracies for failing to contain COVID-19 has taken the world by shock. How the world would shape up under China portends a not-so benign picture. American retrenchment from its role as the builder and defender of liberal world order will have farreaching consequences not only for India but the world as a whole. The serious setbacks to the ability and limitations of American power are manifesting at different levels. The post-second world war world has never witnessed such an uncertain future as of now. Protectionism has become a new currency globally, threatening to put an end to something called commonly shared prosperity. There are challenges at the strategic level for India to cope up with not only the changing landscape of power politics but also with many issues of global governance and multilateralism. The much-touted United Nations reform is stuck with no deadline in sight. Other institutions of global governance too are flailing in the light of their failure to reflect new global realities. Most of the institutions were built in the aftermath of the Second World War and they still continue to reflect old realities. The issues such as nuclear weapons, terrorism, climate change, migration, global pandemic, and other non-traditional security threats emanating across the border are threatening the very stability of the states and that need to be addressed. India has been playing an active role in shaping the ideas and global dialogues (G20, BRICs, BIMSTEC, etc) that reflect both urgency and sensitivity to a different group of countries capabilities and needs the role of foreign policy as a medium through which domestic gets transformed. How the issues which are domestic in nature need global intervention and strategic manoeuvring to get addressed will depend on the type of social, economic, and political resilience we show in the face of many issues and challenges facing us domestically and globally. The emergence of the country as an economic powerhouse and having strong democratic credentials have brought the country in the middle of many global strategic initiatives and strong support is being sought by the world to overcome many issues and challenges that humanity faces as a whole. In this context, the seminar aims at bringing discussions around challenges and prospects for India’s Foreign Policy.


The seminar will provide a platform for several researchers, academicians, foreign policy experts, and scholars across the country to discuss and deliberate on various issues related to making of India’s foreign policy, its implementation, and implications. The below-mentioned subthemes are only suggestive.

Other relevant themes can also be taken by the participants.

Sub-Themes  Non-Alignment and the Leadership of the Developing World  India-China War 1962  Liberation of East Pakistan 1971  India and Cold War Politics  Global Humanitarian Crisis and Contribution in Peacekeeping Forces  India’s Financial Crisis and Opening of the Economy in 1991  Rise of China and its Challenges to India  Indo-Pacific as the New Strategic Narrative  India and the Multilateral World Order  Indo-US Strategic Relations  India-Russia Relations: Seeking New Convergences  Africa: Political and Economic Opportunities for India  India’s Foreign Policy Interests in West Asia  South East Asia: Gateway to India’s Act East Policy  Non-Traditional Security Challenges  India and Disarmament  India and Europe: Trade and Investment  India and the Neighbourhood: New Opportunities of Engagement  India and Pakistan: Possibilities of Engagement?  India’s Approach to Post-Taliban Afganistan  Modi’s Foreign Policy: Change or Continuity?  India in the Post-COVID World Order Guidelines for Abstract and Paper submission The abstract shall not exceed 500 words. It shall include title of the paper, name of author/s, institutional address, mobile number and email ID, seminar subtheme and keywords with not more than 6. The full paper must have 5000-6000 words, inclusive of tables, figures and references. The paper must adhere to APA reference style. See to get more details about APA style.

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Categories: CFP
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