How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, by Itty Abraham

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By Itty Abraham

Why do nations visit warfare over disputed lands? Why do they struggle even if the territories in query are economically and strategically valueless? Drawing on severe methods to diplomacy, political geography, overseas legislation, and social historical past, and in line with a detailed exam of the Indian adventure throughout the twentieth century, Itty Abraham addresses those vital questions and provides a brand new conceptualization of international coverage as a country territorializing practice.

Identifying the contested technique of decolonization because the root of up to date Asian inter-state territorial conflicts, he explores the political implications of building a set territorial place of birth as an important start line for either foreign acceptance and nationwide identity—concluding that disputed lands are vital as a result of their intimate id with the legitimacy of the postcolonial geographical region, instead of as a result of their power for financial profits or their position in historical grievances.

By treating Indian diaspora coverage and geopolitical perform as exemplars of international coverage habit, Abraham demonstrates how their intersection bargains a completely new manner of figuring out India's vexed family members with Pakistan and China. This strategy bargains a brand new and effective mind set approximately overseas coverage and inter-state conflicts over territory in Asia—one that's non-U.S. and non-European focused—that has a few implications for nearby defense and for international coverage practices within the modern postcolonial world.

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Extra resources for How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics

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14 First of all, the treaty’s association with an understanding of sovereignty as exclusive control has been examined and rejected as a view that conf lates legal jurisdiction with supreme control. 15 To the extent that Westphalia was even universally accepted as a binding constraint on royal behavior, in other words, it indexes a conception of sovereignty that is far from exclusive and points, additionally, to the heterogeneity of the “people” living within a political jurisdiction. Moreover, Edward Keene argues that, well after Westphalia, sovereignty in practice often remained partial and divisible.

The views quoted in the preceding paragraph are far from typical. Much more commonplace in IR is the assumption of territorial acquisition as an unquestioned good, a belief that is held to have been dominant since the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). 11 As Mark Zacher states confidently, “In . . 12 Daniel Philpott’s account of modern sovereignty makes complementary claims regarding the arrival of the modern state and territory and foreign policy 23 the primacy of territorial conceptions of sovereignty.

The colonial gaze justified the systematic political exclusion and marginalization of residents of culturally liminal but geopolitically significant borderlands in terms of their alleged lack of civilization, creating a space of exception at the eastern limits of the country. With sovereignty in 1947, f luid imperial boundaries became the fixed borders of the nation-state. These borders now incorporated territories and peoples that could not be easily identified as culturally “Indian” and, who, moreover, soon came to define themselves in opposition to a predatory Indian nation-state.

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