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Emerging Dimensions Of Diplomacy & Foreign Policy – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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Emerging Dimensions of Diplomacy & Foreign Policy

Session Report
Prasangana Paul

IMPRI Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies, Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi conducted an Online International Autumn School Program, a One-Month Immersive Online Certificate Training Course on Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in November 2023.

This Course, spread over a month, introduced the participants to the complex world of global affairs, understanding principles and practices of diplomacy, international negotiation, defence and foreign policy formulation. It initiated dialogue on the fundamentals and core values of diplomacy and foreign policy and gave insight to the participants on complex international relations.

On the 8th Day our speaker, Professor Sumit Ganguly, Professor, Political Science. Director of the India Studies Program and holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington. He enlightened us by talking on Emerging Dimensions of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy.

Navigating Complexities in Indian Foreign Policy

Professor Ganguly’s insightful lecture on the challenges facing Indian Foreign Policy in the evolving global landscape covered a myriad of critical sub-themes, providing a comprehensive analysis for the audience. One of the key focal points was the structural nature of challenges, regardless of the ruling political party. The persistent threat from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was identified as a paramount concern, highlighting the need for India to proactively navigate this challenge, irrespective of any shifts in foreign policy by the dominant party.

Delving deeper into the Indo-China dynamic, Professor Ganguly outlined two strategic options to address the PRC challenge: self-help and external balancing behavior. While expressing the hope for improved relations, he emphasized the formidable challenge of altering policies given the PRC’s entrenched perception of India as a principal rival in Asia. This analysis set the stage for understanding the complexities involved in managing a delicate and crucial relationship in the Asian geopolitical landscape.

Shifting focus to the global order, Professor Ganguly underscored the enduring significance of the United States in the international paradigm. He urged the audience to recognize the USA’s immense capacity for innovation and renewal, emphasizing the importance of cultivating strong ties with key allies such as Japan and Australia, especially within the Quad framework. Additionally, the lecture highlighted the strategic significance of careful diplomacy in Southeast Asia to counterbalance China’s growing influence, reflecting the nuanced approach required to navigate intricate geopolitical relationships.

Another major theme of the lecture was the imperative for India to reinforce its neighborhood-first policy. The professor articulated a dual rationale for this approach – promoting mutual prosperity and preventing neighboring countries from drifting into the PRC’s orbit. The cautionary example of Sri Lanka served as a stark reminder of the delicate balance required in managing regional dynamics, underlining the interconnectedness of regional stability and India’s broader foreign policy objectives.

Addressing the perennial challenge of dealing with Pakistan, Professor Ganguly offered a candid perspective on the complexity of finding a viable solution. In a light-hearted manner, he humorously suggested that the next Indian Prime Minister successfully navigating this issue should be awarded the Nobel Prize in Peace. This sub-theme underscored the ongoing diplomatic intricacies involved in managing India-Pakistan relations.

Conclusion

The session report also encapsulated the professor’s concluding remarks on the need for India to strike a delicate balance in its relations between Russia and the USA, particularly recognizing the dependence on Russia for energy security. This insightful conclusion emphasized the nuanced approach required in international politics, where dealing with diverse regimes is inevitable. Professor Ganguly’s comprehensive analysis covered challenges from geopolitical rivalries to regional diplomacy, providing the audience with a profound understanding of the intricate global hierarchy and India’s role within it.

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Diplomacy and Foreign Policy: Careers Prospects

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