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India’s “Perestroika” Times

20 7 0

The word “perestroika” (rejigging) is at the core of a recent story, published by the popular media outlet The Indian Express, on India’s foreign policy strategy in relation to its ties with leading world powers. In addition, this newspaper article is worthy of note because its author, C. Raja Mohan, is one of the most influential experts on India.

It is worth pointing out that the previously mentioned word, which has the worst possible connotations for a vast majority of Russians, in reality, is neutral in meaning, just as all the other words for labelling certain real events.

The author of this article prefers to use other terms, such as “radical changes”, when describing transformations similar to perestroika. Still both of these expressions equally accurately reflect the ongoing processes within the global political landscape, in which C. Raja Mohan is trying to find an optimal (from his point of view) course of action for his country to follow.

As a rule, any events referred to with expressions such as “perestroika” and “radical changes” have a fast-paced aspect to them. Any processes accompanying them occur “quickly” (from a historical perspective). Having taken this into account, the author of the article in The Indian Express highlights that India only has a “narrow window of opportunity” if it chooses to take advantage of it.

Naturally, all the changes occurring in the global political landscape have not been considered in the story, instead the focus is on the key ones, which is a sound approach (from the methodological perspective). When studying any complex system, it is essential to “edit out” some relatively secondary elements. But this needs to be done in such a manner that the simplified model is not very different (to an extent) from the actual system.

Raja Mohan focuses on assessing dynamics within the “USA-China-Russia” triangle. Hence, a commentary of this model is apt at this point. Firstly, arranging actual global political processes in a scheme composed of “state-squares” that are somehow linked together does not take into account (often vital) processes that are taking place within each of the nations. As a result, it is hard to answer, for example, the questions “What does the ‘key square’, i.e. the USA, represent at present? What is driving its maneuvers within the global political landscape?”. Admittedly, the Indian expert does touch........

© New Eastern Outlook