Spying in South Asia: Britain, the United States and India’s Secret Cold War

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


In this first comprehensive history of India’s secret Cold War, Paul McGarr tells the story of Indian politicians, human rights activists, and journalists as they fought against or collaborated with members of the British and US intelligence services. The interventions of these agents have had a significant and enduring impact on the political and social fabric of South Asia. The spectre of a ‘foreign hand’, or external intelligence activity, real and imagined, has occupied a prominent place in India’s political discourse, journalism, and cultural production. Spying in South Asia probes the nexus between intelligence and statecraft in South Asia and the relationships between agencies and governments forged to promote democracy. McGarr asks why, in contrast to Western assumptions about surveillance, South Asians associate intelligence with covert action, grand conspiracy and justifications for repression? In doing so, he uncovers a fifty-year battle for hearts and minds in the Indian subcontinent.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press, Cambridge
Number of pages252
ISBN (Electronic)9781108919630
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • India
  • Cold War
  • Intelligence
  • Spying
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


Dive into the research topics of 'Spying in South Asia: Britain, the United States and India’s Secret Cold War'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this