Monday, March 31, 2014

An Important Post on the 'Impostor Syndrome'

This resonated with me when I read it, and I think most academics, colleagues and especially students need to read this about the impostor syndrome, which came to my attention by way of Steve Saideman over at the Duck of Minerva.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

India Gets It Right -- Mostly -- in UNHRC

The extent to which domestic politics and narrow sectarian interests sometimes dictate India's foreign policy to the detriment of the larger national interest was once again made clear when India decided to abstain from the vote on the UNHRC resolution in Geneva that targeted Sri Lanka.  It was absolutely the correct thing to do -- indeed, I would go so far as to say that India should have voted against the U.S.-sponsored resolution.  I had criticized India's decision in 2012 to support a similar UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka.

Why does it demonstrate the importance of domestic politics?  Because, whatever explanations the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) might come up with for the change in the vote this time (that this resolution was intrusive compared to previous efforts), the the key difference was that the UPA government is no longer being held hostage by Tamil politics parties and their one-upmanship on the issue.  This allowed New Delhi to pursue the national interest, which they had given the go-by the previous two years in the interest of coalition politics.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Crimean Crisis

The Crimean crisis might not be the beginning of a new cold war, but it clearly reflects some of the problems with Obama's foreign policy as I argued in a piece on Economic Times (online), pasted below:

Crimea Tilts Power Equations

The consequences of Vlamidir Putin’s ‘land-grab’ are likely to reverberate for some time.  Not even traditional friends and anti-Western compatriots like New Delhi and Beijing are entirely comfortable with Putin’s initiative.

India’s default option – to side with neither side in the dispute – might be understandable because on the one hand India does not want unilateral referendums to become an international norm considering its own position in Kashmir but on the other hand New Delhi’s natural political instinct is not to side with the West against anybody, especially a traditional friend like Russia.