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21 August 2015

Leading India: Mission impossible?

It has been said before in this column: India’s new government does a few important things differently than most of its predecessor governments. First it is run by a party less identified with the country’s history of the last sixty years than the perennial Congress Party. Then it is led by a man who distinguishes himself with a stronger determination than what the Republic has seen over recent years in that position.

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13 July 2015

India and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

India is seeking membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO. Why? And what is the SCO? PM Modi attended the SCO summit in Ufa, Russia, the other day and was welcomed as a new member by the next year. Along with India, Pakistan will also join the SCO. The Organisation, headquartered in Beijing, is a creation by Russia and China and counts the Central Asian States of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan among its members.

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12 June 2015

India’s role in global trade

In global trade, power has shifted and new blocs have been created. After two decades of changes in the fundamental structures of the global trading system, China has risen to the rank of the mega-trader of its own class, whereas the USA, Canada and the European Union have consolidated their dominance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment region and the USA, Japan, South-Korea together with smaller Asian economies represent the Trans-Pacific trading bloc.

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28 April 2015

Is the Indian Ocean India’s Ocean?

The “Persian Gulf” is a well-established historical and geographical term, practically uncontested. Iran, today’s Persia, would not allow anybody to shorten it just to the “Gulf” or, even more daringly for Iran, to alter it to “Arab Gulf”.

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29 January 2015

World Economic Forum in Davos: Where was India?

For international politics and economics, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos is not the measure of all. But the media reporting about the WEF still holds lessons for all. Davos is an annual platform for leaders who remind the world who is still relevant or relevant again. Some of the countries keep coming back to the limelight every year, because they remain relevant.

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17 December 2014

From strategic choices to strategic needs

India’s role in international affairs is not at the level of its potential. We have written this before, in this column. Partly, it has to do with India’s economic and industrial growth over the last twenty years, which has remained below the performance of other emerging economies, let alone of Asian and other tigers. Another reason may be the weakness of its leaders over the same time span.

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31 October 2014

From strategic options to strategic choices: Prime Minister Modi’s regional policies

India’s Prime Minister seems to have visions for his country’s place in the world and the strength to do something for it. In an earlier comment, we already recognised the Prime Minister’s balanced approach to strategic partnerships. When receiving the Chinese leader, recently, he constructively agreed on a substantial partnership for the development of Indian infrastructure, but did not hesitate to raise controversial topics in the presence of his state guest.

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23 September 2014

Prime Minister Modi’s domestic priorities and strategic options

India’s Prime Minister has certainly the right domestic priorities and best intentions herein. Implementing his election campaign promise of better governance, he has started to courageously and forcefully tackle endemic corruption, which is the major obstacle to development. Development should be and is Modi’s ultimate goal.

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29 July 2014

Prime Minister Modi: his Hindu credentials and India’s Hindu-Muslim past

The Prime Minister has had a good start in office. Reputational risks from his anti-Muslim past seem under control; the US and the rest of the world’s governments have accepted to deal with him as the legitimate head of India’s Government. But for history-minded observers, the anti-Muslim legacy remains of interest.

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23 May 2014

India’s general elections: What is the result?

The result is a landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi. As we predicted, the winner had to be one of the two nation-wide parties; of the two nearly nation-wide parties, BJP and Congress, it had to be BJP. No room was left neither for any regional party nor for the possible third force of the future, the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party AAP. Between the two, BJP and Congress, it had to be BJP, because they had a powerful and charismatic leadership during the campaign, Congress had no such leadership.

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