Expanding Horizon of India’s Southeast Asia Policy: ‘Look’, ‘Move’ and ‘Act’ East

Prof. Dr. Tridib Chakraborti and Dr. Mohor Chakraborty

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This book is an endeavour to present a comprehensive analysis of India’s “Look East” (rechristened “Act East”) Policy—a foreign policy perspective of India vis-à-vis the countries of Southeast Asia, officially inaugurated in 1991, in the context of the New Economic Policy. It takes cognizance of the gestation, evolution and enhanced dynamism of this policy pursued by successive Governments in India. It is acknowledged as a policy initiated and sustained by India to re-engage with the countries of Southeast Asia during the First Phase (1991-2001) of the “Look East” sojourn and eventually extend its domain to embrace the countries of East Asia and Asia-Pacific in the Second Phase, “Move East”) (2002-April 2014) of the policy. Under the present Government, though the spirit remains unchanged, the policy has been renamed “Act East,” and it aspires to be more proactive, developmental and more engaging. It is in this context that the book analyses the political, strategic and economic contours of the policy through the two “Look East” and the present “Act East” phases. It is a comprehensive attempt to discuss India’s relations with the ASEAN and ASEAN+3+2 members (China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand) spanning a period of more than two decades of “Look East” execution as well as the contours of cooperation under the “Act East” spectrum, thus entailing a comparative retrospective of the success of the doctrine.

Prof. Dr. Tridib Chakraborti and Dr. Mohor Chakraborty Prof. (Dr.) Tridib Chakraborti is Professor in International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India and former ICCR Chair, Indian Studies and Visiting Professor, Dublin City University, Ireland.

Dr. Mohor Chakraborty is Assistant Professor in Political Science, South Calcutta Girls’ College (affiliated to University of Calcutta), Kolkata, India.


List of Tables



1. Introduction
2. India’s “Look East” Policy in the Post-Cold War Period: Ideas and Orientations
3. India’s “Look East” Policy: A Comprehensive Analysis of Phase I
4. Extension of India’s “Look East” Policy to Phase II: An Assessment
5. Comparative Scrutiny of Phases I and II of India’s “Look East” Doctrine: Economics as a Parameter
6. “Act East” Policy: The Reincarnation and Rejuvenation of “Look East”
7. Concluding Observations




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