The paper aims to examine the long-term and deep impact of national identity on India’s foreign policy. In order to address the objective and develop an alternative approach, the study is conducted using the Neo-Classical Realism theory, which combines analyses on systemic structure and states’ behavior at the unit-level, while emphasizing the factor of national identity on the formation of India’s foreign policy and its responses to systemic pressure. This paper argues that it is imperative to take account of the impact of post-colonial identity while analyzing India’s foreign policy. Being a derivative of post- colonial identity, the concept of strategic autonomy therefore help elucidates why India still distrusts the U.S. and why the potential India-U.S. partnership is not fully realized. Still, the post-colonial identity will determine how India defines its relationship with the U.S., whether through strategic opportunity (as a realist approach) or strategic autonomy (as a nationalist approach).
This article criticizes the inappropriateness of neoclassical realism in evaluating factors and variables at the domestic level. Instead, the manner of which states assess threats and choose types of foreign policy should be based on empirical methods. The authors explain that neoclassical realism is not a result of solving anomaly but that it combines non-structural and ideational factors into the logic of the system theory. Factors at the domestic level are supposed to be systematically categorized and simplified by types o..
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