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Identity and world order in India’s post-Cold War foreign policy discourse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-198
Number of pages19
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number1
Published4 Feb 2019

King's Authors


This article examines the dominant conception of world order in India’s post-Cold War foreign policy discourse. Drawing on a poststructuralist, discourse-theoretical framework, I argue that the discourse uses foreign policy and world order as sites for the (re-)production of India’s identity by placing India into a system of differences that constitutes ‘what India is’. The article shows that India’s foreign policy discourse frames world order in accordance with India’s own national experiences and thus seeks to upheave India’s identity to a position from where it can represent the universal: a global political community. This notion of Indian Exceptionalism constitutes the affective dimension of the discourse that obscures the absence of an extra-discursive foundation on which national identities could be grounded by endowing the Self with an imaginary essence and seemingly unique qualities.

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