India, Security, Conflict Resolution, Strategy, Kashmir, Maoist.
This article analyses the inter-relationships between India’s approach to conflict resolution at the global, regional and domestic levels, with a view to clarifying the most consistent positions of the Indian state. At the global level, while there have been some strategic silences reflecting realpolitik, India remains a strong support of UN peacekeeping and critical of armed intervention for humanitarian purposes. At a regional level traditional security approaches dominate. There is a rhetorical commitment to regional integration as a means of building better relationships with neighbours, but India’s actions reflect a model of security and conflict resolution based on deterrence and military power-projection. At the domestic level India has a long tradition of managing internal conflicts through state formation and elite co-option. However, in the North East and in particular in Kashmir and in the Maoist conflicts there have been missed opportunities to de-escalate, when the positive conflict resolution experiences in other domestic cases have been crowded out by a highly securitized response.