While India’s prospects as a rising power and its material position in the international system have received significant attention, little scholarly work exists on India’s status in contemporary world politics. This Routledge Focus book charts the ways in which India’s international strategies of status seeking have evolved from Independence up to the present day.
The authors focus on the social dimensions of status, seeking to build on recent conceptual scholarship on status in world politics. The book shows how India has made a partial, though incomplete, shift from seeking status by rejecting material power and proximity to major powers, to seeking status by embracing both material power and major power relationships. However, it also challenges traditional understandings of the linear relationship between material power and status. Seven decades of Indian status seeking reveal that the enhancement of material power is one of only several routes Indian leaders have envisaged to lead to higher status.
By arguing that a state requires more than material power to achieve status, this book reshapes understandings of both status seeking and Indian foreign policy. It will be of interest to academics and policy makers in the fields of international relations, foreign policy, and Indian studies.