The End of Non-Alignment?

Abstract

The lack of interest in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) today is symptomatic of the larger demise of the non-alignment as a political ideology in global politics. And India’s case is the best exemplar of this global shift. India’s rising global profile is reshaping New Delhi’s approach to its major partnerships in the changing global order. Though sections of the Indian establishment still remain wedded to non-alignment, New Delhi is showing signs of pursuing strategic autonomy separately from non-alignment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This separation is overdue in India’s foreign policy, and the country stands to benefit from leveraging partnerships rather than shunning them. India today is charting new territory in its foreign policy, predicated on the belief that rather than proclaiming non-alignment as an end in itself, India needs deeper engagement with its friends and partners if it is to develop leverage in its dealings with its adversaries and competitors. Much like India, other countries are recognizing the diminishing returns to being part of the non-alignment movement in an age when the binaries of East and West, North and South are losing salience.

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