With the end of the cold war, the drive towards democratization assumed center state. Out of a total 206 states in the world, 195 claims to be either democratic or republican. In spite of it, the nature and function of many self pro claimed democratic systems leave much to be desired. This has led to international efforts, led by the US, to engage in the twin task of democracy promotion and democracy protection. India joined the community of the democracies in 2000, at the turn of the millennium, and later became a member of the UN democratic funds in2005. It has sought to contribute to the efforts aimed at promotion and strengthening of democracy in its own way. The author of the book under review, Professor Muni, calls it “significant shift” in India’s foreign policy. As a close followers of India’s foreign policy he has tries to isolated the “democracy dimension” in India’s foreign policy towards its immediate neighbors on an individual country basis over three distinct phases, which makes interesting readings. Professor Muni has enough experience as an academic and a diplomat to comment on such an important issue with great care and diligence. After a brief review of theories of democracies and its interface with foreign policy, the author situates the Indian experience over three different phases. He argues during the first phase (1947-1960s) soon after freedom from colonial rule, India emphasis “independence and nationalism”. The principal architect of Indian foreign policy, Jawahar Lal Nehru, set out to build of free, cooperative and peaceful Asia. This explained Nehru’s vociferous argument in favor of inclusion of communist china in the comity of nations as an independent state. He went on to fashioned his policy of non alignment as a main benchmark of India’s foreign policy and try to stay out of the bipolar power politics.
His policies towards neighboring countries demonstrated his predilection for democracies in spite of the compromises he made to...
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