Sumit Ganguly


Sumit Ganguly is director of research at the Center on American and Global Security, Indiana University, Bloomington

Dealing with a Romney presidency

It has become a virtual staple of Indian political discourse that Republican administrations are more sympathetic towards India than their Democratic counterparts. The popularity of this notion notwithstanding, it is factually incorrect.

The future of an illusion

The Tehran meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is now nearly upon us. Some 120 countries are members and 17 other states have observer status in this movement.

A dialogue of the deaf

It is an oft-repeated adage in international relations that one must talk to one’s enemies. After all, talking to one’s friends is easy.

Looking for ‘Pak’ in US dictionary

US-Pakistan relations are again at odds. Both the civilian and military leadership in Islamabad believe that the US has treated them poorly since the Special Forces’ raid on Abbottabad and the demise of Osama bin Laden.

Pitfalls on Indo-US bilateral road

The third US-India Strategic Dialogue is only a few weeks away. To prepare the ground for a meaningful set of talks US secretary of state Hillary Clinton was recently in the country.

The limits of the peace offensive

It may appear downright churlish to criticise the peace efforts of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Abol Tabol by Mamata di

In May last year, Mamata Banerjee toppled the Communist behemoth that had ruled West Bengal for 34 years. Many within the state had grand hopes of its industrial, economic and social renewal after over three decades of industrial stagnation, political unrest and capital flight. Some, however, had expressed early concerns about a chief minister who, in an earlier incarnation as a political agitator, had undermined the one major industrial investment that might have come to fruition in the state, namely, the Tata Nano plant. Despite her role in thwarting this industrial venture, weary of the greyness of Communist domination, even her critics were prepared to grant her some leeway.

The morality of responsibility

The concept of the “responsibility to protect” is of recent vintage. In considerable part it stemmed from the failure of the global community to prevent the Rwandan genocide and its slow motion response to the crises that beset the Balkans following the disintegration of Yugoslavia. The vast majority of democratic states, most notably the advanced industrial democracies, have rallied around this principle. India, however, has consistently shied away from endorsing it. Instead, it has sought to uphold the age-old norm of Westphalian sovereignty under which the internal affairs of states are not subject to external intervention.

Slippery slope of our illiberal future

Some years ago, Fareed Zakaria, the Indian-American political scientist and commentator, coined the term, “illiberal democracy”. The expression was designed to capture a class of states that did hold free and fair elections and saw an alternation of political parties but lacked many of the other attributes of liberalism— most importantly a healthy respect for civil and political rights. There is no imminent danger of India joining the ranks of that category of states.

Pak polity and its throne of bayonets

Rumours are again rife in Islamabad that President Asif Ali Zardari, to assert control over the overweening military establishment, may fire both the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI-D), Ahmed Shuja Pasha, and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. It is, of course, an open question about whether or not he will be able to assert such authority even though he formally commands the requisite powers to do so. Tragically, the pattern of civil-military relations in Pakistan is such that the stated prerogatives of the elected leadership have meant little in practice.

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