• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Since the historical hiatus of its economic liberalisation in the early 1990s, India has witnessed an upward leap in its international standing. Three decades of impressive economic growth, a vast expansion of military capacity and an increase in diplomatic influence have delivered India into a position of new-found global prominence. Finally, India seems to be “arriving” – fulfilling, or reasserting, the great destiny that has long been written into its historical narratives.

Yet India’s recently acquired attributes of hard power stand in stark contrast to the characteristics and convictions of its earlier, newly independent self. After independence, India was a militarily weak state whose foreign policy was guided by a commitment to anti-colonialism, anti-racialism and a highly critical stance on what it saw as both the undemocratic and unequal distribution of international power, and the global insecurity that resulted from excessive military spending and nuclear weapons.

This course explores the forces which have led to India’s transformation into a country seemingly more interested in status symbols than moral posturing. On a journey through the history of India’s external relations since independence, the course examines the seismic shifts in both India’s strategic capacity and its status in the international realm, and explores and critiques the theories that help us to explain them.

In a course that encourages students to explore India’s global role through the theoretical lenses of International Relations while playing close attention to the cultural roots and changing ethos of India’s foreign policy, the following four key questions are addressed:

1)       Which tools can we use to understand India's changing global role?

2)       What historical forces have led to the transformations in India's strategic capacity and its status in international society since independence?

3)       What kind of a global role does India envisage for itself and how do current global challenges mediate India's hopes for major-power status?

4)       What might India’s ascendance mean for India, South Asia and the world?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

At the completion of this course students should have the following:

  • skills in the critical analysis of global politics as it pertains to India

  • heightened levels of confidence in developing a coherent and well-structured written or spoken argument

  • improved essay writing and presentation skills as well as confidence in group discussion situations

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial Participation 10%

Tutorial Presentation 10%

Research Paper (2,500 words) 60%

Take home exam (1,200 words)  20%

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The course is scheduled for Tues-Thurs 12-14 July and Tues-Thurs 19-21 July from 1-5pm each day. The venue is W1.21 in the Baldessin Building (#110).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of any courses.

Prescribed Texts

Essential Readings will be made available through the Wattle. Recommended readings will also be available through the Wattle or will be on Course Reserve.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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