The making of modern Indian diplomacy: a critique of Eurocentrism

Datta-Ray, Deep Kisor (2010) The making of modern Indian diplomacy: a critique of Eurocentrism. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Diplomacy is conventionally understood as an authentic European invention which was internationalized during colonialism. For Indians, the moment of colonial liberation was a false-dawn because the colonized had internalized a European logic and performed a European practice. Implicit in such a reading is the enduring centrality of Europe to understanding the logics of Indian diplomacy. The only contribution to diplomacy permitted of India is restricted to practice, to Indians adulterating pure, European, diplomacy. This Eurocentric discourse renders two possibilities impossible: that diplomacy may have Indian origins and that they offer un-theorised potentialities.

These potentialities are the subject because combined they suggest that Indian diplomacy might move to a logic unknown to conventional approaches. However, what is first required is a conceptual space for this possibility, something, it is argued, civilizational analysis provides because its focus on continuities does not devalue transformational changes. Populating this conceptual space requires ascertaining empirically whether Indian diplomacy is indeed extra- European? It is why current practices are exposed and then placed in the context of the literature to reveal ruptures, what are termed controversies. The most significant, arguably, is the question of what is Indian diplomatic modernity? Resolving this controversy requires exploring not only the history of the revealed practices but also excavating the conceptual categories which produce them. The investigation therefore is not a history, but a genealogy for it identifies the present and then moves along two axes: tracing the origins of the bureaucratic apparatus and the rationales underpinning them. The genealogical moves made are dictated by the practitioners and practices themselves because the aim is not to theorize about the literature but to expose the rationalities which animate the practitioners of international politics today. The only means to actually verify if the identified mentalities do animate international politics is to demonstrate their impact on practice. It is why the project is argued empirically, in terms of the ‘stuff’ of IR.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS History of Asia > DS401 India (Bharat)
J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ1305 Scope of international relations. Political theory. Diplomacy
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2011 11:58
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2015 11:39
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7403
Google Scholar:4 Citations

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