Chatham House Report

Project: Asia Programme, Global India

Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme

This report analyses India's international role in development, trade and investment, security and democracy, and the environment. It assesses current thinking within India towards these global challenges and examines how policy is evolving.

  • India aspires to play a greater role on the global stage, while there is an increasing desire on the part of other countries to engage more closely with it on a range of global issues.
  • India and the West frequently approach international challenges in divergent ways, but in some areas there is clear scope, and a shared desire, for better mutual coordination.
  • Nevertheless most Indian policy-makers still focus primarily on the urgent domestic challenges their country faces rather than on its aspirations to a greater global role. This situation is unlikely to change until India resolves its domestic development challenges.
  • The Nehruvian notion of non-interference retains a considerable influence on India's policy-making, affecting its approach to development as much as it does to broader foreign policy issues.
  • India's government is but one element of 'India'. The private sector plays a key role in development assistance; Indian NGOs and civil society are increasingly active at an international level.