India's Ocean: The story of India's bid for regional leadership

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    India aspires to be the dominant power in the Indian Ocean, and this goal may come within its reach in coming decades. This book looks at India’s strategic ambitions in the Indian Ocean as part of the shifting balance of power in Asia. It will ask whether India has the wherewithal to become the leading power in the Indian Ocean. India has long seen itself as the natural leader in the Indian Ocean—and wants to ensure that it remains ‘India’s Ocean’. During the colonial era, India was the hub of Britain’s Indian Ocean empire and, after a gap of some 60 years, India is slowly re-emerging as the natural centre of gravity for the region. Its rise as a global economic and military power is leading it to it look towards an expanded strategic role in the region and on the world stage. Some in New Delhi see control over the Indian Ocean as essential to prevent the possible ‘encirclement’ of India by hostile powers. Others regard an Indian sphere of influence in the Indian Ocean region as an essential building block in the fulfillment of India’s destiny to become a global power. But most Indians would strongly reject the idea that India has any hegemonic ambitions in the Indian Ocean, instead seeing it as a friendly policeman that can provide security in a troubled region and help keep unwanted outsiders away. Over the last decade or so, India has successfully presented itself as a benign and cooperative security provider throughout much of the Indian Ocean. But India also tends to have a hierarchical view of the international order which may have consequences for the region
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages245
    ISBN (Print)978-0-415-52059-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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