India at the Global High Table

Book Review By Howard B. Schaffer and Teresita C. Schaffer

The Quest for Regional Primacy and Strategic Autonomy

India at the Global High Table is an insightful analysis of how India is managing its evolving role. Former US ambassadors to countries in South Asia, Teresita Schaffer and Howard Schaffer shed light on the country’s strategic vision and foreign policy, and the negotiating behaviour that links the two.

The four concepts woven throughout the book offer an exploration of India today: its exceptionalism; its non-alignment and drive for ‘strategic autonomy’; its determination to maintain regional primacy; and, more recently, its surging economy. With a specific focus on India’s negotiating practices, India at the Global High Table provides a unique, comprehensive understanding of India as an emerging international power player and the choices it will face between its classic view of strategic autonomy and its desire to find partners in a fast evolving world.

Howie and Tezi Schaffer have done all of us a huge favour. They have chronicled India's rise to great power status and in doing so have defined the principles which shape that country’s approach to international affairs and its relations with the United States. Carefully examining India's history, her experience since independence, and looking at India's approach to bilateral, multilateral and economic negotiations as well as India's record in dealing with China and Pakistan, the Schaffers have provided unique insights into the way India defines strategic choices, develops policy and conducts diplomacy. Their book is an essential guide to modern Indian statecraft.

- Frank Wisner, Former Ambassador to India and Foreign Affairs Advisor to Squire Patton Boggs

Team Schaffer in this book presents invaluable insights into Indian foreign policy and the cultural drivers behind it from Ashoka to ‘Act East’ and Nehru to Modi. It provides a clear history of modern Indian foreign affairs events and thinking coupled with concise reviews of key negotiations rarely if ever seen before, including on the China border and the US-India nuclear deal. A must read for all following South Asia and India from recognised experts with great experience in the region buttressed by careful and original research.

- Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to India, Russia and the United Nations

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.