Reframing the Buffer State in Contemporary International Relations
Nepal’s Relations with India and China
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This book explores buffer states' agency beyond being highly interactive spaces for the competing strategic and security interests of larger powers. Analysing twenty-one political events the author offers a new conceptual framework for the buffer state, which emphasizes strategic utility and agency of the buffer state. Applying this to the case study of Nepal as a buffer state between India and China, he offers a systematic analysis of Sino-Indian interests in the wider region, and Nepal’s interactions with and reactions to them, and argues that the buffer state in contemporary International Relations is characterized by intense competitive overtures from its contending neighboring states. However, it is not just a spectator but an active participant that consistently assesses and reassesses its geopolitical position in between much larger competing powers. This reading offers a new understanding of the buffer state as a highly dynamic political space wherein the levels of influence and strategies of bigger powers can be examined.
Aimed at a multidisciplinary audience, this book will be of particular interest to scholars, practitioners and students of international relations, security studies, strategic studies, and Asian Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Discussing the Buffer State Concept: Old and New Frameworks 3. Contextualizing Nepal as a Buffer State 4. Timeframe I: Critical Junctures 1947–62 5. Timeframe II: Critical Junctures 1962–90 6. Timeframe III: Critical Junctures 1990–2008 7. Timeframe IV: Critical Junctures 2009–2022 8. Conclusion
Bibek Chand is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of North Georgia, USA. His research interests include Sino-Indian interactions in Asia, international relations of small states, the emerging notion of the Indo-Pacific, Nepal’s foreign policy, and geopolitics.