This book provides a fresh insight into the role of identity in international and national relations and policy. It analyzes identity conceptions and state behavior, arguing that identities (seen in terms of self/other relations) constitute a crucial element of state interest, both in terms of end goals and strategies. It discusses the effects of secular and religious-cultural understanding of identity on domestic and foreign affairs.

The book presents a discourse on national identity in India, the events from 1990–2003, and how these have influenced the engagement of India with others, especially with Pakistan and China. In this process, it reveals several surprising insights, along with the challenges that confront the country.

Identity and the Politics of Security

Identity and the politics of security

In recent years, observers of Indian politics have been remarking upon and discussing the shift in the nationalist discourse1 from secular, pluralistic and inclusive to religious-cultural and exclusive Self.2 The rise to power of political elites that represent the latter discourse has given these musings a particular relevance. More so, since subsequent events, such as the Ramjanambhoomi movement,3 the Godhra incident in Gujarat,4 the rewriting of history textbooks,5 the assertion of ‘Hindutva’ or ‘Hinduness’, and the often violent rhetoric of those associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are events that compel recognition and have been related to the rise of the religious-cultural organizations and parties.6 Indeed, the assertion of a ‘Hindu rashtra’ (nation) ...

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