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India: Emerging Power Hardcover – July 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

India's current foreign policy has evolved from its conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir, the humiliation of having China occupy its northern borderlands in 1962, and the further embarrassment of the intrusion of the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal in 1971. A senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of several books on India, Cohen is highly qualified to treat these three issues within a framework of the perceived greatness of India's civilization, its desire for regional dominance, its position as a valued if weak democracy, and an administrative decision-making structure for foreign and nuclear policy badly in need of revision. He points, however, to several indicators that portend stability in the future. First, India's multiethnic and multicultural society appears well suited for today's diverse world. Second, the eschewing of Nehru's Fabian Socialist economic concepts for those of a market economy has brought significant economic growth to India. Finally, the presence of more than a million highly savvy Indians residing in the United States offers greater ties and influence between the two nations. 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 Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815700067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195660357
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,188,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Izaak VanGaalen on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen P Cohen is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and is their resident expert on South Asian strategic studies. Not only has he lived in Dehli for a number of years, he speaks Hindi and he has some unique insights as to how foreign policy is shaped inside the government based on his contacts with some of the key individuals. I have heard Cohen speak (English) on several occaisions and was impressed with the breadth and depth of his knowledge of South Asia.

In this book, Cohen details some of the world views of India's leadership during the 1990s. In 1996, the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power and along with it came a new outlook on India's role in the world. The old school were the Nehruvians of the Congress Party (left-centrist), whose outlook was mainly anticolonial, socialist central planning and advocacy of third-world solidarity against Cold War blocs. The new "center-right realist" school, represented by Jaswant Singh and KC Pant realized the world had changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. The new world order was shaped by economics, and from economic strength comes military power. The new government knew that it had to open its economy to international competition in order to achieve the growth rates needed to lift their population out of poverty. No small task since about half of the world's poor are in India. They found China's example encouraging.

The BJP opened up their foreign policy establishment to input by outsiders such as journalists, academics, and even military personnel. The old Congress Party was always very secretive about their decision making process for fear of a military coup.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the late 1980's the news media were full of stories about how there was a fundamental shift of economic and political power from North America and Europe to the western rim of the Pacific Ocean. Japan appeared to most to be an economic juggernaut and the Chinese economy was rapidly expanding. The Asian tigers of Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia also appeared to be smaller, yet very powerful economic entities. India was only rarely mentioned, and then largely as an afterthought. I remember India being mentioned largely in stories about the expansion of Chinese military power and how that power would affect the long-standing border dispute between India and China.

However, the scenarios of a world economically dominated by Japan proved to be wrong. The Japanese economy tanked and the Tigers went through a period of economic recession. However, the Chinese economy merely hiccuped and continues to grow at a very impressive rate. India has now emerged as a significant power, some areas of American high technology are largely controlled by Indian expatriates. In previous years, the jobs outsourced from the United States were in labor intensive manufacturing and reappeared in Mexico and Central America. Now, many of the jobs are in the software development and support areas, where India has gone from almost nothing to a major player. Approximately ten years ago, when I interviewed people who had received their computer science education in India; almost all of them had very little hands-on experience with computers. Most of their programs were written out and graded by the instructor without ever having been run on a computer.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Neel Aroon on November 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As India became an independent nation in 1947, it became the world's second largest country in population and the world's larges democracies. Cohen in India:Emerging Power looks at how India has been advancing since 1947. Cohen looks at the different influences on India such as non-alliance, the Nehru view, and the Gandhi view. Cohen also deals deals with India's interactions with other countries such as the Soviet Union and later Russia, United States, Africa, China and other South Asian countries. Cohen also looks at some of the more well known issues of India such as its military. It relied on Soviet Aid for a long time but was never able to get as much as it wanted. Cohen looks at American influences on the Indian military and its desire to become an arms exporter. Cohen also looks at India's nuclear program and its relations with Pakistan. He goes through the history of the conflict and how nuclear weapons. It also deals with INdia's relations to the United states and about how the two countries can work togheter.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ashish Chaturvedi on January 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The author clearly makes a valiant effort at understanding the country. While he impresses with the scope of literature survey on the issue, Cohen fails to produce a thesis of any remark, or even coherence, from that wide reading. A great book if (1) you want to use it as a source book or (2)want to know what stereotypes have plagued America's understanding of India, for the author regurgitates a lot of such stereotypes. The book makes notable departures from mediocrity, as when it discusses Nehruvian antecedents to Indias present policy, but is on the whole uninspired. If the book is any barometer of USA's views on India, the future of the US-India alliance is not very bright.
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