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India: Emerging Power

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0815715016
ISBN-10: 0815715013
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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"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

  • Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815715013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815715016
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,831,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book written in 2000 by veteran South Asian specialist Stephen P. Cohen concentrates on introducing India as an emerging Asian power. Since this book appeared there have been several books that have discussed India alongside China and Japan as one of the great powers of Asia. This book briefly discusses Indian domestic politics but its focus is on India's foreign policy: its relations with Pakistan, China, the United States, and with other South Asian countries. Cohen begins with a discussion of the various sources of India's foreign policy philosophy: the sub-continental focus of the British Raj, the pacifism of Mahatma Gandhi, the non-aligned anti-colonialism of Nehru, and the realism of his daughter and successor, Indira Gahdhi. Cohen maintains that most Indian officials have a mixture of these disparate tendencies in their heads. In addition to the chapters on India's external relations he has two chapters on India as a military power: as a conventional military power and as a new nuclear power in balances of terror with both Pakistan and China. I recommend this as a good starting point for understanding modern India.
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Format: Hardcover
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How about a book on India written by a pro-Pakistan person who is a strong supporter of US hegemony in the world.
Will India become a Big Power in the near future?
Why India is all set to become a Big Power?
How India will probably become a Big Power?
If you are looking for answers to any one of the above questions then DO NOT read this book.
The book is organized into some 10 chapters. Most of them deal with the task of assessment of the performance of India as a nation state in the last 50 years.
The book makes a few "Not-so-Strong-Arguments". Such as "Nations are recognized by the enemies they keep." While Russia and China keep the US as the enemy-in-charge there are a few nations such as Libya, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea which keep USA as their Enemy-In-Chief. Nevertheless this doesn't elevate their prestige or reputation.
The book also says that Indian Diplomats are arrogant and are inclined to lecture western diplomats on a few issues (e.g. "Greatness of Indian civilization"). While one can agree that this tendency may exist, all the diplomats can hardly be branded as such. The author has tried to translate the strong opinion of a few diplomats into a strong general argument.
The author also seems to blow the drum of BJP government. This may have been in exchange for deeper access to the "Files".
The tone of the book is of a Boss who is doing your Performance Appraisal. There are too many premises.
The author also says that although India is a big power in making it cannot challenge the US. Do we need Stephan Cohen to certify that India cannot challenge US ? I believe all of us already know that.
The book has its pluses also. The book provides a lot of food for thought. The info that USS Enterprise was sent to the bay of Bengal in support of India in 1962 Sino-Indian war is a news.
If you are a regular reader of one Indian daily then this book may not be for you.
.
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