India’s relations with Afghanistan and the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia have contributed to the growing interest in the country’s rise. By treating them together as “Central Eurasia,” the discourses of Indian foreign policy invoke a contiguous geopolitical locale bound to India by a shared past. Yet, despite the strategic articulation of a manifest Central Eurasian region, the article uncovers a puzzle of bifurcation in India’s foreign policy reflecting distinct operationalizations of India’s cultural capital in its relations with Afghanistan and the Central Asia republics. The comparative analysis indicates that prior historical experience becomes a compelling strategic context for the continuous framing and reframing of the country’s foreign policy space, which reveals India’s shifting perceptions of international order, self-identity, and global roles. India’s interactions in Central Eurasia offer a good illustration of the crossroads that New Delhi’s foreign policy is facing–either keep on proliferating discourses that spin yarns of the international influence of its historical capital or develop proactive diplomatic strategies that deliver the international status that India desires.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety Research
- Political Science and International Relations