IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Development of International Relations Theory in India


  • Siddharth Mallavarapu

    (The author is Assistant Professor, Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. E-mail:


The article seeks to do an audit of the state of International Relations theory (IRT) in India. It examines three facets of IRT in this connection. The first relates to the possibility of a tradition of thinking on issues of universal theoretical significance. The second pertains to an exploration of scholarly reflection on an important principle of Indian foreign policy, namely, non-alignment and the limits of theorizing it. The final facet examines the concerns that inform theorization by Indian scholars since the 1990s. In regard to the first facet, the article argues that there exists an Indian tradition of thinking on issues of order, justice and cosmopolitanism, even though it may not have been expressed in the language of IRT. With regard to non-alignment, the article argues that while it did not result in broader theoretical formulations, it raised a number of first order issues for further theorizing. Finally, it suggests that recent IRT invocations by Indian scholars reflect a more receptive conjuncture for such work, both in terms of India’s own changing stature in the world system as well as an acknowledgement of more eclectic methods and possibilities in the broader world of the social sciences.

Suggested Citation

  • Siddharth Mallavarapu, 2009. "Development of International Relations Theory in India," International Studies, , vol. 46(1-2), pages 165-183, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:intstu:v:46:y:2009:i:1-2:p:165-183

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:intstu:v:46:y:2009:i:1-2:p:165-183. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.