India’s Reluctant Approach to r2p: Lessons from Perilous Interventions

in Global Responsibility to Protect
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This contribution uses the analytical lens of ‘reluctance’ to assess some of the broader implications of the arguments made by Hardeep Singh Puri in Perilous Interventions. Based on a conceptualization of reluctance that entails the two constitutive dimensions of ‘hesitation’ and ‘recalcitrance’, the article finds that India was only moderately reluctant when it came to unscr 1973, but grew increasingly reluctant vis-à-vis r2p after military operations in Libya. Puri’s book reveals how India’s growing reluctance on r2p was shaped by the perception that the West was driven by an appetite for interventionism and regime change. These insights are helpful to make sense of the broader phenomenon of India’s and other rising powers’ reluctant approach to world politics. Reluctance can result from efforts to deal with either competing expectations articulated by different actors, or with competing norms (e.g., protection of civilians and sovereignty; status recognition as a responsible country and autonomy).

  • 2

    Ian Hall‘Multialignment and Indian Foreign Policy under Narendra Modi’The Round Table 105/3: 271–286 (2016).

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    Sandra Destradi‘Reluctance in International Politics: A Conceptualization’European Journal of International Relations (2016) doi: 1354066116653665. The conceptualization of reluctance entails a process of ‘concept reconstruction’ based on the identification of the semantic field of the term and on its previous usage in the field of International Relations and in related fields; and a process of ‘concept building’ which involves the identification of the negative poles of a concept its constitutive dimensions its structure as well as the discussion of indicators for empirical analyses.

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  • 7

    Sumit Ganguly‘India and the Responsibility to Protect’International Relations30/3: 362–374 (2016) p. 363.

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    According to Ganguly‘there is some evidence that the United States prodded New Delhi to support the resolution’. See Sumit Ganguly ‘India and the Responsibility to Protect’ p. 368.

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  • 13

    PuriPerilous Interventions p. 91.

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    James Pattison‘Perilous Noninterventions? The Counterfactual Assessment of Libya and the Need to Be a Responsible Power’Global Responsibility to Protect 9/2 (2017).

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    Sumit Ganguly‘India’s Foreign Policy Grows Up’World Policy Journal20/4: 41–47 (2003) p. 47.

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    Sandra DestradiIndian Foreign and Security Policy in South Asia: Regional Power Strategies (Abingdon and New York: Routledge2012).

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  • 20

    DestradiIndian Foreign and Security Policy in South Asia p. 148.

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    Sandra Destradi‘India: A Reluctant Partner for Afghanistan’The Washington Quarterly37/2: 103–117 (2014).

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    Babette Never and Joachim Betz‘Comparing the Climate Policy Performance of Emerging Economies’World Development 59: 1–15 (2014).

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  • 27

    Narlikar‘India’s Role in Global Governance’ pp. 98–99.

  • 28

    PuriPerilous Interventions p. 198.

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