In 2009–2010 India faces dramatically different foreign policy challenges than it faced even ten years ago. Similar to other ascendant powers such as China and Brazil but unlike smaller powers, India must not only cope with a transformed international system and project the country's global aspirations, but also ensure that its emergence as a rising power responds to its domestic dilemmas and constraints. India's actions and aspirations on the global stage have changed dramatically toward greater activism and leveraging of its newfound economic strengths. Yet, despite powerful pressures and opportunities nudging India toward a greater role in the global system, India must also attend to crucial capacity building to mobilize its potential and aspirations. The path toward a major power role and status needs to be paved with more than good intentions and be accompanied by political will and institutional flexibilities that can transform India's traditional emphasis on autonomy and self-reliance and new ambitions into real power that is sustainable at the global level and yields crucial benefits for India's diverse population.
© 2010 Northeastern Political Science Association
Aseema Sinha and Jon P. Dorschner, 2010. “India: Rising Power or a Mere Revolution of Rising Expectations?” Polity, January 2010, Vol. 42, Issue 1: 74-99.