[Foreign Policy] Definition and Objectives

  • Definition – System of activities evolved by countries/ states for changing the behavior of other states and adjusting their own activities according to international environment. It has definite objective and principles which are determined by domestic and international factors to achieve national interest.
  • Any of policy should be an adjunct to national policy objectives
    • Aligned to domestic politics e.g. economic policy
    • Pre 1992 India voted more with USSR earlier. Post 1992, it is aligned to USA
  • Foreign policy is an instrument to protect and promote national interest of any country.
  • Foreign policy has to be dynamic because of vast changes in last 60 years eg. collapse of USSR, unification of Germany, birth of EU, rise of emerging economies etc. It also evolves because national interests also vary from time to time.
Objectives of foreign policy
  • Socio-economic
    • Getting help from developed countries eg. in 2nd FYP – Non alignment Movement, steel plants, setting up IITs
    • Partnership with USA for agriculture and education
    • PL-186 – USA help for food grains
    • BRICS
  • National Security
    • economic growth and development can not occur without protecting countries boundaries
  • Protecting and promoting countries ideological agenda
    • Normally it is not followed by India
    • eg. USA exports democracy – Egypt, Tunisia
    • India has good opportunities to do this in its neighborhood countries like  Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar
    • We never export our ideology as per Panchsheel we do not interfere in other countries
    • Our Foreign policy contains both Nehruvian and Gandhian ideas like non-violence, peace
  • Maintain communal harmony within India
    • India is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic
    • It has to take into account Tamils while dealing with Sri Lanka, Muslims with West Asia
  • Our Foreign Policy has regarded neighborhood and concentric circle around central axis of historic and cultural commonalities- buddhism, invasions, civilizational contacts – Iran, Egypt, SE Asia

  • India is not able utilize this much
  • Before independence, we have even geographical contacts with our extended neighbors
  • Though India does not just follow concentric circle theory eg. USA, Brazil, Venezuela etc are far away but it has made considerable progress in relations with them
  • Foreign policy has to be an integral part of larger effort of building nation’s capacities through economic development, strengthening social fabric, well being of the people and protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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