India and global governance: The politics of ambivalent reform

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This article examines India’s emergence in four institutions: the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations Security Council. The article demonstrates that while India’s reform diplomacy has consistently been pursued across these institutions, India has maintained the same approach to reform even after its position in certain institutions has improved. In explaining this condition, the article argues that Indian leaders strive to improve the country’s position in global governance but maintain that India has not yet reached a position through which it can unilaterally identify new objectives for reform. For this reason, India remains dependent upon coalitions with emerging powers and developing countries in order to exert influence in global governance. India’s solidarity with these coalitions conditions the adaptability of its reform agenda and prohibits the pursuit of diplomatic initiatives that do not address the collective interests of the global South.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-259
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number2
Early online date24 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2016


  • India
  • foreign policy
  • global governance
  • global South


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