When Hillary Clinton visited India in 2009, the US Secretary of State's verdict was unequivocal: 'I consider India not just a regional power, but a global power.' Following the success of economic liberalisation in the 1990s, which generated growth rates in excess of 8% and a rising middle class, expectations have grown that India might become a superpower, particularly in a West that sees in India's democratic heritage the potential for strategic partnership.
However, there remain deep and pervasive fault-lines within Indian society. Crony capitalism, the collapse of public health systems, a rising Maoist insurgency, and rampant environmental degradation all call into doubt India's superpower aspirations. Rather than seek to expand its influence abroad, India would do well to focus on the fissures within.
Will India Become a Superpower?
The Untold Story of India's Economy
D. Rajeev Sibal
The Military Dimensions of India's Rise
India's Soft Power: From Potential to Reality?
India's National Interests and Diplomatic Activism: Towards Global Leadership?
Globalisation, Society and Inequalities
Corruption in India
Managing the Environment: A Growing Problem for a Growing Power