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Girish Mathur

By J. Bandyopadhyaya
Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1980, pp. xiv 361, Rs. 60.00

VOLUME V NUMBER 3 November/December 1980

First published in 1970, the book has been revised and updated to cover deve­lopments up to the first year of the Janata government to serve as a textbook for studying the determinants, institu­tions, and processes involved in foreign policy making. In the first chapter national interests and the variety of means to promote them have been discussed in what the author can claim to be a sys­tematic manner but would appear to a politically adult reader a schematic man­ner. The second chapter is devoted to the basic determinants of foreign policy ­geography, economic development, poli­tical traditions, domestic milieu, inter­national environment, military strength and that metaphysical concept which is often described as national character. The two chapters are devoted to a general dis­cussion of their subjects. The discussion has been supported by quoting various textbooks prescribed for students of international relations and some written in the early twenties since when not merely has the political map of the world undergone changes of a basic character but the study of international relations has also advanced. The struggle against imperialism and racism was not taken into account in the academic studies in the interwar years, but if the dynamics of nationalism of the newly independent countries and those still under colonial rule is ignored in foreign policy making the result would be the projection of the kind of policies which. in the case of the United States led to its humiliation in Indo-China and Iran. It must however be said to the credit of the author that he does not restrict himself to his scheme when he discusses the physical factors determining India's foreign policy and the result is a refresh­ing discourse on India-China and India­-Pakistan borders, the strategic signi­ficance of the Himalayan kingdom for India's security, and Indian Ocean. The policy prescriptions emerging from this discussion retain their validity even after such new developments as Pakistan's on­going efforts to acquire nuclear weapons' capability, the construction of the Karakoram highway and other military installations in Pakistani-occupied Kash­mir by China and the consequent 'Chinese military presence there, the building of new roads and a pipeline in Tibet, the militarization of the Indian Ocean which includes the presence on a permanent basis of a powerful armada of the US and its NATO and other allies, the acquisition by the US of the capability in ...

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