viernes, 26 de julio de 2013

CLASS SIX: Regional visions: India´s soft power

After a long career at the UN, and a parallel life as a novelist, Shashi Tharoor became a member of India's Parliament. He spent 10 months as India's Minister for External Affairs, building connections between India and the world. Follow him on Twitter, @shashitharoor, or his YouTube channel, to get a look in at his whirlwind life of service.

"India is fast becoming a superpower, says Shashi Tharoor -- not just through trade and politics, but through "soft" power, its ability to share its culture with the world through food, music, technology, Bollywood. He argues that in the long run it's not the size of the army that matters as much as a country's ability to influence the world's hearts and minds."

Watch video here.

This is further information for class discussion:

In May 2009, Shashi Tharoor was elected to Parliament, representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala. For 10 months, he also served as Minister for External Affairs, charged with helping India engage with the world.

Before entering politics, Tharoor spent almost three decades with the UN as a refugee worker and peace-keeper, working as a senior adviser to the Secretary-General. Meanwhile, he maintained a parallel career as a writer, producing three novels, a biography of Nehru and several collections of essays on literature and global affairs (plus hundreds of articles for magazines and journals).

He was the UN Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information under Kofi Annan, and was India's candidate in 2006 for the post of Secretary-General. He left the UN in 2007.

His latest book is Shadows Across the Playing Field: 60 Years of India-Pakistan Cricket, written with former Pakistan foreign secretary (and cricket legend) Shaharyar Khan.

Further readings

East Asian Order, article by Ling. 2013. Link

An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions 
Jean Drèze y Amartya Sen
Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2013

From a Spanish perspective:

Revista general de marina, ISSN 0034-9569, Vol. 264, MES 5 (Junio), págs. 803-812.

Instability Factors in Indonesia, by Gil Pérez, Javier. [The paper analyses current instability factors in Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, the third largest democracy in the world and the largest Muslim country in the world --with 200 million of Muslims. The paper explains old and new threats: Islamic terrorism and the secessionist movement in Papua -the most dangerous and challenging. However,there are also threats labeled as non-traditional “Challenges to the survival and well-being of peoples and states that arise primarily out of non-military sources”(RSIS 2012). These threats have been in Indonesia during the past decades, and are now getting major attention nationally and internationally: these include climate change, resource scarcity, infectious diseases, natural disasters, irregular migration, food shortages, people smuggling and drugs trafficking].