India’s rise has been accompanied by friction both at home, as a growing middle class pushes for economic security, and abroad, as rivals China and Pakistan jockey for influence. This World Politics Review special report looks at India’s obstacles and opportunities as its seeks its place in the Asian century. Governance A Targeted Approach: India’s Expanding Social Safety NetBy Devesh Kapur and Prakirti NangiaSeptember 24, 2013 In India, Corruption Moves to Top of the AgendaBy Frida GhitisMay 2, 2013 Corruption in India: An IT ApproachBy Prashant AgrawalJanuary 10, 2012 India’s Power Grid Needs More Than Just Increased CapacityBy Catherine CheneyAugust […]

Last week, Canada and the European Union signed a free trade agreement after four years of negotiations. In an email interview, Crina Viju, an assistant professor at the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Canada’s Carleton University, explained the terms and likely impact of the agreement. WPR: What were the major points of agreement in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and what was left unresolved? Crina Viju: As the final text of CETA has not been released due to ongoing drafting and legal analysis, I can outline a few major points overviewed in the summary documents […]

Since assuming the presidency in early 2010, Victor Yanukovych has tried to pursue a balance between strengthening Ukraine’s integration with Europe and maintaining a positive relationship with Russia. He has also sought to avoid having to choose between the European Union and Moscow. On one issue, however, he could not avoid a choice: Should Ukraine conclude an association agreement, including a deep and comprehensive free trade arrangement, with the European Union, or should it instead join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan? Over the past several years, Yanukovych has consistently favored an EU association agreement, and Kyiv very […]

Winston Churchill, the storied politician and former prime minister of the United Kingdom, once said, “I think I can save the British Empire from anything—except the British.” Churchill’s quote cleverly points out that great power decline is not just a function of external factors; often the worst wounds are self-inflicted. In recent weeks, observers around the globe watched with alarm as a dysfunctional American political system pushed the world’s most powerful economy to the brink of default. How could a country with so much global prestige and power risk both over petty partisan squabbling? Why would policymakers choose to squander […]

While the headlines about the latest round of Asian summitry in Brunei and Indonesia focused on U.S. President Barack Obama’s absence and China’s efforts to fill this void, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continued his impressive efforts to shore up relations with the countries of Southeast Asia as Japan and ASEAN commemorate 40 years of relations between them. Since taking office last year, Abe has visited eight of 10 Southeast Asian countries and plans to visit the remaining two, Cambodia and Laos, before mid-December, when Tokyo will host a special ASEAN-Japan Summit celebrating the 40th anniversary of ties. This diplomatic […]

This month, India announced plans to buy eight mine-countermeasure vessels from a South Korean company in a deal worth $1.2 billion. In an email interview, Scott W. Harold, an associate political scientist at the RAND Corp., discussed the state of the South Korean defense industry. WPR: What is the current state of South Korea’s defense industry, and what is driving its growth? Scott W. Harold: From an extremely low base in the 1970s, the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) defense industry has been maturing in a number of areas including ground systems, precision strike capabilities, electronics and shipbuilding. It has also […]

The August 2013 inauguration of new Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes provides a compelling opportunity to close the rift that opened among Mercosur members in 2012 in the aftermath of former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo’s impeachment. The trade group suspended Paraguay at the time, and with Asuncion thus sidelined, the group then approved Venezuela’s accession, despite the Paraguayan legislature’s long-standing objections to Venezuelan membership. Brazil is now leading the charge to reintegrate Asuncion while keeping Caracas in the fold—and healing relations between the two. Nonetheless, despite Brazil’s well-earned reputation for diplomatic effectiveness, it won’t be an easy task. As a founding […]

Amid the diplomatic breakthrough at the Security Council and arrival of the United Nations chemical weapons inspection team in Damascus, many observers have lost sight of two key questions about Syria: How did the regime get its chemical weapons, and how might tragedies like the Aug. 21 chemical attack on Syrian civilians be prevented in the future? While Syria has had the technological means to manufacture chemical weapons for decades, it does not currently produce the precursors for the sarin nerve agent we now know was used outside of Damascus. Outside sources were necessary. Some have suggested Iran and North […]

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India is seeking to conclude a nuclear trade deal with Australia’s new government by the end of the year. In an email interview, Rory Medcalf, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute and associate director of the Australia India Institute, explained what’s at stake in their negotiations. WPR: What is at stake in the nuclear trade negotiations between India and Australia? Rory Medcalf: These are safeguards talks aimed at finalizing an agreement to ensure that any Australian uranium exported to India will not be diverted to military uses. Uranium is no longer a make or break issue […]