GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Changing Context of US-Gulf Engagement: India’s Policy Options
Paper Proposal Text :
Arab uprising is changing the premise of the post-cold war framework of security-stability in the Gulf region. The divergence in US-Gulf approach to reconstruct the regional security-stability architecture is making them to renegotiate the terms of their engagement. From the on-going twists and turns in their conversation, it is clear that though the new security-stability architecture will be envisaging a distinct role for the US, it will also be drawing a larger role for players other than the US. It is no more going to be a monolith construct. Among the others, it is with the Asian stake holders that the region has expressed preference to forge security partnership. Apparently, Asian countries, who have been defining their relations in transactional terms, have to factor regional strategic concerns in their policy. While presence of multiple players’ presence could be the logical corollary of the new construct, the challenge would be to converge these diverse perspectives in terms of common denominator. Importantly it is not as much the divergence among the external players that could pose the challenge, as the variance of threat assessment of the regional countries themselves. The central argument of the paper is though the divergence is the logic of contestation in the region; the synergy is the structural imperative for its security-stability. India a major Asian player has to calibrate its Gulf policy in response to the context where business as usual approach is not going to be sustainable. It has to visualise a role in promoting processes towards synergy that could lead to regional security architecture. A wait and watch policy could be detrimental in retaining its stake not to say promoting them in the emerging dynamics of transformation in the region. Sharpening of fault lines would be impacting on Indian interest adversely, may even pose serious policy dilemma. Is India anticipating it? What is its assessment? How India could be in this process, what could be the scope and trajectory of its engagement are a few issues the paper would like to address.