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India’s Look East Policy: Domestic Concern or Foreign Apprehension
FPRC Journal (2011)
  • Thongkholal Haokip, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Of late, the Look East‖ policy has become a catchword not only of the desk for South East Asia and the Pacific of the Ministry of External Affairs, but even for lay persons in Northeast India. The policy gained popularity in the Northeastern region with the launch of the second phase of the policy in 2003. In this new phase the Northeast has been included as an important component of this policy. India is now looking towards partnership with the ASEAN countries integrally linked to economic and security interests of the Northeastern region. One pertinent question that needs to be raised and analysed at this juncture is how the government of India deals with the issue of security in relation to the borderless world. The international borders in the region are mostly porous and these porous borders absorb the shock that could be produced by the separation of Burma from India in 1937 and the subsequent hardening of borders since 1947. On the hand, looking at the Look East policy strictly on the traditional concept of separation between foreign and domestic policy coupled with the decades of rivalry between India and China, there seems to be mixed feeling or even confusion on this policy. This paper discusses India‘s foreign policy in brief since independence and looks deeper into the current phase, dominated by the policy of ―Looking East‖, which is synonymous with globalisation, regionalism and asianism. In this paper I have taken a balanced approach, which is a combination of a realist as well as idealist approach, to understand the government of India‘s endeavours.
  • India's Look East Policy,
  • Domestic Concern,
  • Foreign Apprehension
Publication Date
Citation Information
Haokip, T. (2011). India’s look East policy: Domestic concern or foreign apprehension. Foreign Policy Research Centre Journal, 8, 227-234.