Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India's Foreign Policy

Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India's Foreign Policy

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Language English
Contributor(s) Rajiv Sikri
Binding Hardcover
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Overview: Challenge and Strategy

Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India's Foreign Policy examines India's foreign policy options in order to ensure that the country retains its space for manoeuvre, to follow an independent foreign policy in the 21st century global scenario.

Features: Challenge and Strategy

  • Business And Economics
Product Details
Language English
Publication Date March 31, 2009
Publisher Sage India
Contributor(s) Rajiv Sikri
Binding Hardcover
Edition 1
Page Count 336
ISBN 10 8132100808
ISBN 13 9788132100805
Dimensions and Weight
Product Weight 358.3 grams
Product Dimensions 1.9 cm x 14 cm x 21.6 cm

Editorial Reviews


The book under review is a good exposition of India’s foreign policy and its evolution in terms of political, economic and strategic depth…It is beautifully structured in thematic forms in dealing with India’s relations with individual countries. Important issues such as energy security, economic diplomacy, defence and diplomacy and India’s strategic choices are given separate treatment….The bibliography listed at the end of the book is impressive. In terms of production, compliments are due to SAGE. The language used in the book is devoid of jargon and makes for lucid reading. The book will be a valuable addition to knowledge.

(India Quarterly)

Rajiv Sikri’s book on Indian foreign policy is a comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of the challenges facing Indian foreign policy…The strongest part of the book is the author’s analysis of India’s relationships with different countries, particularly the constraints that New Delhi faces in pursuing these relationships and in the lost opportunities to develop new paradigms…Sikri’s coverage of different countries, regions, and issues makes the book a valuable text book for someone seeking to understand the compulsions of Indian foreign policy…. [The book is] well researched, well written, and persuasively argued. (Peace and Conflict Studies)

With many out-of-the-box ideas and policy suggestions, the book makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate on foreign policy with India as the strategic country…the book can serve as an important source material for students of Indian politics, international relations and defence and strategic studies and for others interested in India’s foreign policy.

(The Organiser)

The book…issues a clarion call to “Rethink” our country’s foreign policy…. Sikri’s spirited analysis is a welcome addition to the growing literature on our foreign policy and relations. Coming from someone so closely and intimately involved with the making and implementation of our country’s foreign policy for long years and especially someone who quit the sanctuary in protest, the book is particularly enlightening to those who are familiar with the scene.

(Freedom First)

Sikri’s book is a reminder of what has gone wrong with India’s foreign policy as well as what needs to be set right at the level of the MEA and other policymaking institutions in the country. The book is written lucidly and should be essential reading for those interested in understanding the current foreign policy of India.


By any standards, this book is indeed a valuable addition to the many books on the basics, the evolution and the myriads nuances of India’s foreign policy since independence…. Written in excellent prose, this book is a must-read for the strategic community both inside and outside the government.

(USI Journals)

Sikri presents us with a lucid and analytical narrative on India’s foreign policy. It is deeply reflective study which lays emphasis on ‘should’ and ‘must’ of the policy than it’s ‘what and why aspects. It will be welcomed both by the policy-makers and analysts of the subject.


A pleasant read…Rajiv Sikri’s Challenge and Strategy serve as a very useful guide for…people interested in gong deeper into India’s foreign policy challenges today… [The author] provides an interesting insight into what is going on in India’s neighbourhood and beyond. He gives meaningful ideas about how India should conduct itself for successfully safeguarding the country’s interests. (The Tribune)

Rajiv Sikri has written a very fine  survey of India’s current relations with the outside world, peppered throughout with critique and counsel….a searching volume which expertly combines thoroughness and vision. (Asian Affairs)

Rajiv Sikri’s book provides an interesting addition to the existing literature. Written by a retired diplomat who spent close to four decades in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the book is a…comprehensive account of India’s foreign policy debates…. well worth reading. (The International Spectator)

The most comprehensive account… Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy is the best statement of the latter-day Nehruvian approach. Sikri’s intellectual framework  and recommendations combine recognition of India’s contemporary economic growth with a more Nehruvian drive to position India as a balancing factor to the United States. (Survival)

This book is in the tradition of strategic thought that values freedom of diplomatic action and exhorts self-belief so that India does not become anyone's valet. (Asia Times online)

About the Author

Rajiv Sikri was a career diplomat for more than 36 years with the Indian Foreign Service. He retired in 2006 as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. In this capacity he had overall responsibility for India’s relations with East Asia, ASEAN, Pacifi c region, the Arab world, Israel, Iran and Central Asia. Earlier he was Special Secretary for Economic Relations supervising foreign economic relations, including India’s external technical and economic assistance programmes. He has served as India’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, and headed the Departments dealing with West Europe as well as the Soviet Union and East Europe in the Ministry of External Affairs. His other diplomatic assignments abroad include Deputy Chief of Mission in Paris, Political Counsellor in Moscow, Deputy Consul General and Commercial Consul in New York, and Political First Secretary in Kathmandu.


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