Order in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region: Indian Hegemony or Indian Primacy?

  • Manjeet S. Pardesi


India is unlikely to establish a hegemonic order in South Asia/Indian Ocean because of Pakistani intransigence (and its strategic links with China and the United States), and because the simultaneous rise of China and India is creating a larger Asia that is blurring the boundaries between South Asia/Indian Ocean and East Asia. As such, a rising India will attempt to establish a regional order based on Indian primacy in the strategic affairs of South Asia/Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, this will be a dynamic process with uncertain success as India’s ability to do so will be influenced by the US-China-India triangular relationship. At the same time, it will increase the salience of India’s East Asian neighbors in Indian foreign policy.


  1. Beverley, E.L. 2015. Hyderabad, British India, and the World: Muslim Networks and Minor Sovereignty, c. 1850–1950. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bose, S., and A. Jalal. 2004. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Brecher, M. 1959. Nehru: A Political Biography. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Brobst, P.J. 2005. The Future of the Great Game: Sir Olaf Caroe, India’s Independence, and the Defense of Asia. Akron: The University of Akron Press.Google Scholar
  5. Buckler, F.W. 1923. India and the Far East, 1848–1858. In The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 1783–1919, ed. A.W. Ward and G.P. Gooch, 403–407. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Butcher, C., and R. Griffiths. Forthcoming. Alternative International Systems? System Structure and Violent Conflict in Nineteenth-Century West Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Review of International Studies. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  7. Clover, C. 2015. Chinese Arms Sales Surge 143% in 5 years. Financial Times, March 16.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, S. 1980. South Asia and U.S. Military Policy. In The Regional Imperative, ed. Lloyd I. Rudolph, Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, et al. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2001. India: Emerging Power. Washington, DC: Brookings.Google Scholar
  10. COWP. 2015. National Material Capabilities (4.0), The Correlates of War Project, June 2010. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  11. Das Gupta, J.B. 1958. Indo-Pakistan Relations, 1947–1955. Amsterdam: Djambatan.Google Scholar
  12. DoD. 2010. Quadrennial Defense Review Report, Department of Defense, 60. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  13. Embree, A. 1989. Imagining India: Essays on Indian History, 117–132. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Epstein, S., and K. Alan Kronstadt. 2013. Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance, Congressional Research Service Report, July 1. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  15. Ganguly, S. 2001. Conflict Unending: India-Pakistan Relations Since 1947. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Garver, J. 2001. Protracted Contest: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Twentieth Century. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2006. China’s Decision for War with India in 1962. In New Directions in the Study of China’s Foreign Policy, ed. Alastair Iain Johnston and Robert S. Ross, 86–130. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gopal, S. 1979. Jawaharlal Nehru, A Biography – Volume II: 1947–1956. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  19. Gordon, S. 1995. India’s Rise to Power in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. London: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  20. Gujral, I. K. 1997. The Gujral Doctrine, January 20. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  21. Hagerty, D. 1991. India’s Regional Security Doctrine. Asian Survey 31 (4): 351–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harkavy, R. 2000. Strategic Basing and the Great Powers, 1200–2000. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Harrison, S., and K. Subrahmanyam, eds. 1989. Superpower Rivalry in the Indian Ocean: Indian and American Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Heimsath, C., and S. Mansingh. 1971. A Diplomatic History of Modern India. Calcutta: Allied.Google Scholar
  25. Houreld, K. 2015. China and Pakistan launch economic corridor plan worth $46 billion. Reuters, April 20. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  26. IHS. 2016. Increases in Military Personnel Spending Elevate India to World’s Fourth Largest Defence Spender, IHS Says. IHS, March 30. Available at Accessed 22 Aug 2016.
  27. Kan, S. 2015. China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues, Congressional Research Service Report, January 5. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  28. Kapur, S.P., and S. Ganguly. 2012. The Jihad Paradox: Pakistan and Islamist Militancy in South Asia. International Security 37 (1): 111–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kavic, L. 1967. India’s Quest for Security: Defence Policies, 1947–1965. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Khan, Y. 2015. The Raj at War: A People’s History of India’s Second World War. London: Bodley Head.Google Scholar
  31. Khan, M. 2016. Growth Star India Overtakes China as World’s Fastest Growing Major Economy. The Telegraph, February 8.Google Scholar
  32. Kux, D. 2001. The United States and Pakistan, 1947–2000: Disenchanted Allies. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  33. LaGrone, S. 2013. Jane’s: India to Grow to Fourth Largest Defense Spender. USNI News, February 11. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  34. Levi, W. 1952. Free India in Asia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  35. Mastny, V. 2010. The Soviet Union’s Partnership with India. Journal of Cold War Studies 12 (3): 50–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mearsheimer, J. 2014. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Updated Edition. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  37. Mukherjee, P. 2005. Valedictory Address at the 7th Asian Security Conference, New Delhi. In Changing Security Dynamic in Eastern Asia: Focus on Japan, ed. N.S. Sisodia and G.V.C. Naidu. New Delhi: Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses.Google Scholar
  38. Nehru, J. 1985. The Discovery of India, Centenary Edition. New Delhi: Oxford University Press., [1946].Google Scholar
  39. Panikkar, K.M. 1945. India and the Indian Ocean: An Essay on the Influence of Sea Power on Indian History. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 1946. The Basis of an Indo-British Treaty. New Delhi: Indian Council of World Affairs.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 1947. The Himalayas and Indian Defence. India Quarterly 3 (3): 233–238.Google Scholar
  42. Parameswaran, P. 2015. US Will Hold Elevated Trilateral Dialogue with Japan and India. The Diplomat, July 14. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  43. Pardesi, M.S. 2010. Southeast Asia in Indian Foreign Policy: Positioning India as a Major Power in Asia. In India’s Foreign Policy: Retrospect and Prospect, ed. Sumit Ganguly, 106–131. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Pardesi, Manjeet S. 2014. China’s Nuclear Forces and Their Significance to India. Nonproliferation Review 21 (3/4): 337–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pardesi, M.S. 2015. Is India a Great Power? Understanding Great Power Status in Contemporary International Relations. Asian Security 11 (1): 17–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pardesi, M. S. 2016. The Indian Navy’s Doctrinal Evolution. In The Routledge Handbook of India’s Defense Policy, ed. Harsh Pant. New Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Paul, T.V. 2003. Chinese-Pakistani Nuclear/Missile Ties and the Balance of Power. Nonproliferation Review 10: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pearson, M. 2003. The Indian Ocean. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. PwC. 2015. The World in 2050: Will the Shift in Global Economic Power Continue? PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  50. Raghavan, S. 2010. War and Peace in Modern India: A Strategic History of the Nehru Years. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ramusack, B. 2004. The Indian Princes and Their States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Roy, D. 1998. China’s Foreign Relations. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sen Gupta, B. 1983. The Indian Doctrine. India Today, August 31.Google Scholar
  54. Shakya, Tsering. 1999. The Dragon in the Land of the Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Singh, M. 2012. PM’s Opening Remarks at the 10th ASEAN-India Summit, November 19. Available at Accessed 22 Aug 2016.
  56. Smith, C. 1994. India’s Ad Hoc Arsenal: Direction or Drift in Defence Policy. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Tellis, A. 2015. Unity in Difference: Overcoming the U.S.-India Divide. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
  58. Thayer, C. 2014. India and Vietnam Advance Their Strategic Partnership. The Diplomat, December 11. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  59. The Nation. 2015.China Gets Operation Rights at Gwadar Port for 40 years, April 15. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  60. The White House. 2015. U.S.-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, January 25. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  61. The World Bank. 2015. “Gross Domestic Product 2015, PPP,” and “Gross Domestic Product 2015,” World Development Indicators Database, July 1. Available at and Accessed 22 Aug 2016.
  62. Thomas, R.G.C. 1979. Nonalignment and Indian Security: Nehru’s Rationale and Legacy. Journal of Strategic Studies 2 (2): 153–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Topping, S. 1979. Opening the High Road to China. New York Times, December 2.Google Scholar
  64. Unna, W. 1966. China Woos Pakistan. Washington Post, April 3.Google Scholar
  65. Unnithan, S. 2010. The ChiPak Threat. India Today, October 23.Google Scholar
  66. Wainwright, A.M. 1994. Inheritance of Empire: Britain, India, and the Balance of Power in Asia, 1938–55. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  67. Walt, S. 2005. Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  68. Watson, A. 1992. The Evolution of International Society: A Comparative Historical Analysis. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wight, M. 1977. Systems of States. Leicester: Leicester University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Yan, X. 2014. Silk Road Economic Belt Shows China’s New Strategic Direction: Promoting Integration with Its Neighbors. 21st Century Business Herald, February 27. Available at Accessed 1 Aug 2015.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manjeet S. Pardesi
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations