Covid-19 and Post Covid-19 Indian Diplomacy

Vivek Mishra

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This book is an attempt to tell the story of India’s fight against COVID-19 and the impact it had in reshaping of India’s foreign policy. How India responded starting from the early stages of the pandemic, including ensuring the return of its people in the early stages and aid delivery at later stages, is a story that needs to be told. Indian foreign policy bore an extraordinary brunt of deliverance, even as it imposed total lockdown in a country of 1.3 billion people. This book recounts the steps taken by the Indian government and its various departments and agencies during COVID-19, the coordination. Between them and its overall impact on the nation’s outlook. As the nature of diplomacy shifted from physical to virtual and trade became difficult with countries closing the border, India had to invoke its Atmanirbhar spirit to sustain the momentum of nation’s collective conscience. India’s diplomacy during the peak of the pandemic faced multiple challenges not just induced by the virus but also enhanced threats at the border by China. Perhaps, India’s relations with great, middle and small powers have stood revised in many ways in the post-pandemic world. This book remains an unfinished project as neither has COVID-19 threat completely ended, nor have other virus-induced changes been fully restored to resume the pre-pandemic world of global relations, mobility and diplomacy.

Vivek Mishra is a Fellow with ORF’s Strategic Studies Programme. His research interests include America in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific regions, particularly the role of the US in security in South Asia, Indo-US defence relations, and the Indian defence sector. Previously, he was a Research Fellow with ICWA, New Delhi and a Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War & Peace, School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University.

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

Introduction

1. India’s Response: From Regional to Global
2. COVID-19 & Geopolitics: India’s Regional andGlobal Engagements
3. Preparing for a New Diplomacy: Initial Challenges
4. Preparing for a New Diplomacy: Tying Domestic to International
5. Double Whammy: Managing Chinese Belligerence during COVID-19

 

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