It is commonly repeated that the post-War order belongs to the past, as it no longer mirrors reality and its institutional set-up has proven incapable of responding to the challenges of modern times. Beyond any doubt, the so-called “BRICS” countries will play a crucial role in writing the next chapter of global governance – which is why FEPS turns its attention to one of them: India. Resulting from a study visit that took place in Spring 2011, thisissue features articles by Indian high-level authors, who kindly share their views on 4 themes: “Asian Spring: Promoting Diversity and Democracy”, “India in Shaping its future”, “A world player in the making”, “China: Reshaping the Status Quo”. Those building blocks enable the reader to discover a new perspective on a number of issues.
To begin with, the deliberations focus on the “Arab Spring”. The recent developments in the regions of Northern Africa and Middle East are analyzed from two angles: one focuses on the future of democracy; the other is devoted to the question of Islam and a potential for an “alternative, non-violent transformation” in the countries, in which it constitutes a dominant religion. Touching upon the challenges of prosperity, stability and social diversity – the authors propose a new way of evaluating this contemporary “4th wave of democratization”.
Secondly, the issue offers a unique, inside perspective on India itself, its potential and its ambitions. In this context, a reader can discover the impact of the global economy on different regions of so-called “emerging states”; can learn about difficulties in creating communities and working towards a solidarity-based society in the circumstances of post-colonial inheritance, as well as finding out about the complexity of the regional relations. The approach manifested by authors is by all means an innovative one, as it focuses on showing new grounds on which on the local, state and regional levels of different agreements are indispensible.
Thirdly, the relations between India and other global players are discussed. Challenges of multilateralism, peace, security, climate change – all those issues form a context for reflections on ties between: India and the EU, as well as Russia and the US. It enables us to sketch a portrait of contemporary India as an actor seeking its new place in a multilateral system.
Fourthly, in order to complete the picture, attention is given to China and its policies – both as far as their regional and international dimensions are concerned. There are questions posed on both Chinese expansionist policies in Asia and in Africa, as well as those concerning the sustainability of its model. In this context, issues of security, defense and new sorts of dangers are also examined.
The contributions to this edition have been submitted by a number of outstanding personalities, from among Indian researchers, politicians and journalists. Assembling this exceptional collection was possible thanks to the efforts of Dr. Klaus VOLL, FEPS Special Consultant on Asia, who together with Dr. Ernst STETTER, FEPS Secretary General heralds this issue with its “Foreword”.
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