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date: 30 March 2020

Summary and Keywords

There is a pronounced dearth of scholarly literature on foreign and security policy in South Asia. The amount of South Asian case materials that have been effectively integrated into the mainstream of the foreign and security policy literature is very small. Furthermore, the bulk of the scholarship on these subjects emanating from the region has been quintessentially devoid of theoretical substance. The neglect of South Asia is baffling considering that the region offers a rich array of cases pertaining to questions of comparative foreign policy, interstate conflicts, regional crises, and the effects of nuclear proliferation, amongst other issues. There are a variety of plausible reasons to explain the marginalization of South Asian foreign policy studies. One, at the level of the global system, the South Asian states, with the exception of Pakistan, sought to self-consciously exclude themselves from the tensions of the Cold War international order. Also, India was also one of the principal exponents of the doctrine of nonalignment. After several decades of systematic neglect, however, there are signs that scholars are beginning to integrate the study of India and South Asia into the study of international relations, foreign policy, and strategic studies. This newfound scholarly interest in the South Asian region can be attributed to a host of actors, such as India’s remarkable economic growth of the past decade or so, Pakistan’s political fragility, and India’s and Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Keywords: foreign policy, security policy, South Asia, interstate conflicts, India, Pakistan, foreign policy studies, nonalignment, international relations, nuclear weapons

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