Do New Democracies Support Democracy? Reluctant India

Issue Date October 2011
Volume 22
Issue 4
Page Numbers 97-109
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What role will human rights and democracy play in India’s foreign policy? On the level of principle and ideology, at least, there is a potential for India to become a beacon for democracy, but to what extent will democracy and human rights actually become high-level items on India’s foreign-policy agenda? The likelihood is that India will continue to display a strong commitment to democratic ideals, but will do so without making democracy promotion an avowed element of its foreign policy. There is evidence that India and China are emerging as rival ideological models simply because India’s success will do so much to drive home the point that democracy and freedom can bring a huge development premium.

About the Author

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is president of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and a member of the global faculty of the New York University School of Law. He has taught at Harvard and Jawaharlal Nehru universities, and is author of The Burden of Democracy (2003).

View all work by Pratap Bhanu Mehta