Strategic Alert: Is India Catching Great Power Assertivitis?

September 20th 2017 - 12:38

Previous HCSS monitors found India to be significantly less assertive than the other great powers. In our 2016 Great Power Assertivitis study, we even claimed that the subcontinent was the sole exception to the rule that great powers seem to exhibit a quasi-pathological proclivity to throw around their weight in negatively assertive ways. In our recently published Changing International Order (Geodynamics) Alert, however, which covers the first half of 2017, some of the indicators we use to track global GPA - especially our global event datasets - started painting a different picture of India. An analysis of the quantitative and qualitative evidence over the last 6 months reveals a significant uptick in the country’s economic and military assertiveness, specifically towards its great North-Eastern neighbor, China. Since the Indian subplot of the great power story receives so much less attention from Western governments, institutions and media, HCSS decided take a closer look at some of the domestic and international dynamics at work here.

Stephan De Spiegeleire is Principal Scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy. His current work at HCSS focuses on strategic defense management, security resilience, network-centrism, capabilities-based planning, and the transformation of defense planning.