University of Sussex
Sarker, Md Masud.pdf (1.31 MB)

US foreign policy toward India after 9/11

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posted on 2023-06-09, 14:42 authored by Md Masud Sarker
This thesis provides a critical analysis of shifting US foreign policy toward India. The study covers the period from the end of the Second World War up to the end of the first Obama administration. With Indo-US relations since India’s independence in 1947 used as a backdrop, the focus is on policy from the end of the Cold war and, specifically, from the time of the 9/11 attack. The thesis explores, in both conceptual and empirical terms, the reasons for United States growing involvement in the South Asian region and its enhanced engagement with India. The principle aim of the study is to determine whether the ramifications of 9/11 were mainly responsible for present state of Indo-US relations, or whether US policy toward India was driven by the broader changes in international affairs associated with globalisation, among which the rise of China is paramount. The approach taken is a critical historical analysis that has involved review of secondary literature and close examination of a range of primary US and Indian government material, supplemented by field work conducted in the US that involved interviews with policy makers and academics. This thesis shows that US policy toward India has two major dimensions: the first is the US adaptation of its foreign policy in response to the changed international political climate after the Cold War, a shift in which the question of its relative decline from sole superpower status was critical. The second dimension is India’s rise, which has given it growing geo-strategic importance in the 21st century and has created the potential for India to become an essential partner in US attempts to maintain the stability of the international order and its own hegemonic role with this order. The argument of the thesis is that US policy toward India is more one of continuity than change, and that the driving force behind recent Indo-US relations is not primarily the consequences of 9/11, but is rather the result of power shifts within a more globalised world. In this changed context both the US and India have looked for closer, strategic relationships with countries that share their interests. While far from being united in this respect, their interests are sufficiently common so that from the end of the Cold War the US and India have developed a closer partnership. The effects of 9/11 contributed to an environment conducive to this partnership, but they were not the primary factor.


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  • eng


University of Sussex

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