Regional (Dis)Orders

Regional (Dis)Orders
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World politics and international relations are in deep flux and fluidity contemporarily. The unipolar world where America stood at the apex has gradually but inexorably given way to a rather loose concatenation of power and its distribution. In this schemata, the world is both bipolar (loosely) and multipolar. In terms of bipolarity, the axes of politics revolve around the United States and China while as regional orders appear to be multipolar. The bipolar power configuration is generating competition is generating competition across regions and regional orders with China and the United States respectively vying for power and influence. In is amidst this fluidity and churn that the United States is wooing India and it is this that explains United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations remarks that in terms of India and the United States, “sky is the limit”. Haley cloaks this in the broad thrust of “common” values of the two countries which may suggest that world politics is getting polarized along the lines and axes of values or a concert of powers. While there might be an element of truth to this assessment but, in the ultimate analysis, it is the quest for power and interest(s) that defines world and international politics. The United States, in the midst of decline and waning influence, and worried about China’s rise is wooing countries like India, in order to both balance and contain China. From this perspective, the “values” talk is just platitudinous lip gloss aimed to obscure the fundamental power realities of world politics. What, the question is, would be impact of closer Indo- US relations mean for the regions politics and political order(s)? India will employ proximity to the United States to validate its quest for regional hegemony but this will be resisted by Pakistan and other smaller states of the region that will look towards China. While a Cold War will not ensue in the region, but surely there will be a radical reconfiguration and reorganization of regional balances of power. These will also impact conflicts that define the region. The most salient of these would be the Kashmir conflict. With the lines of “alignment”- India and the United States, Pakistan and China-more starker and perhaps even clearer, the extant rivalries in the region are all set to intensify. Whether these conflicts and rivalries will remain “cold” or “hot” is actually the billion dollar question whose answer remains in the “unknown unknown”.

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