Pachyderm Pirouettes

David Malone's provocatively titled Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy elegantly surveys key features of contemporary Indian foreign policy. David Malone identifies relevant aspects of Indian history, examines the role of domestic politics and internal and external security challenges, and of domestic and international economic factors. He analyzes the specifics of India's policy within its South Asian neighborhood, and with respect to China, the USA, West Asia, East Asia, Europe, and Russia as well as multilateral diplomacy. The book also touches on Indian ties to Africa and Latin America, and the Caribbean.

India's 'soft power', the role of migration in its policy, and other cross-cutting issues are analyzed, as is the role and approach of several categories of foreign policy actors in India. Substantive conclusions touch on policies India may want or need to adjust in its quest for international stature.

Malone is President of the International Development Research Centre. He was Canada's High Commissioner to India and non-resident Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal from 2006 to 2008. He has published extensively on peace and security issues, in book form and in journals.   He has published earlier with OUP who will formally release his book in New Delhi on the 16th of May.

Meanwhile, the book has garnered quite a bit of attention, and praise:

  • A wonderfully illuminating book on India's relations with the world informed both by remarkable expertise on diplomacy and foreign relations and by carefully acquired intimate knowledge of a very complex country. The book will enlighten not only Indians involved in public discussion and policymaking but also people across the world interested in an ancient land undergoing extraordinarily rapid transformation.  Amartya Sen, University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, and 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics 

  • With the analytical mind of a scholar and the perceptive eye of an experienced diplomat, David Malone ranges across history, geography, economics and strategy to provide a treatment of Indian foreign policy which is both lucid and profound. Strobe Talbott, President of The Brookings Institution, former US Deputy Secretary of State, and author of Engaging India 

  • David Malone has written an impressively thorough and deeply insightful analysis of how a previously inward-looking India is now reaching out to the world. Comprehensive in scope, examining major themes and regions, [this book] shrewdly brings history and economics to bear on our understanding of [India's] foreign policy. Ramachandra Guha, Historian, and author of India After Gandhi 

  • David Malone has written an impressively thorough and deeply insightful By daring to walk through Delhi's Tower of Babel, David Malone has produced a rewarding work on the sources and conduct of India's contemporary international relations. The capacity to differentiate between the "signal" and the "noise" in Delhi's rambunctious discourse and a deep empathy for India's aspirations allow Malone to excavate the obscure riches of India's new regional and global engagement. C. Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research. 

  • In our Strategic Affairs section, 432 pages, Rs 495 in hardcover. ISBN: 9780199552023