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This research delves into the evolving nature of power in international relations, focusing on the concept of soft power. Introduced by Joseph Nye in the 1990s, soft power is defined as the ability to influence others through attraction and persuasion rather than coercion or force. The study highlights how nations leverage cultural diplomacy, public opinion, and historical narratives to enhance their soft power and achieve foreign policy objectives. The article examines various methods through which soft power is projected, such as cultural exchanges, media influence, and the promotion of national values and ideals. It explores the role of non-state actors, including NGOs and multinational corporations, in shaping global perceptions and aligning foreign populations with a nation’s policies. Case studies of countries like China, Turkey, India, and the United States illustrate diverse approaches to employing soft power in international affairs. China’s strategic use of environmental diplomacy and Turkey’s deployment of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) are highlighted as examples of how emerging powers utilize soft power to strengthen their global influence. The research also underscores the importance of integrating regional historical narratives and cultural elements into foreign policy to sustain diplomatic relations and promote national interests, with the depiction of the vibrant regional-historical narratives of India. By employing qualitative analysis, reviewing academic literature, policy documents, and specific national case studies to uncover patterns and strategies in the use of soft power, the findings reveal that effective soft power strategies are crucial for modern diplomacy, offering nations a means to project power and achieve foreign policy goals without resorting to military force. The article asserts that understanding and harnessing soft power is essential for navigating the complexities of global diplomacy in a multipolar world. By appealing the shared cultural values and fostering positive international relations, nations can enhance their global standing and influence through non-coercive means.

Keywords: Soft Power, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Cultural Diplomacy, Public Opinion, Non-State Actors, Indian Historical Narratives, Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), Chinese Environmental Diplomacy


International relations and diplomacy employ diverse strategies and tactics to achieve foreign policy objectives, among which “Power” stands as a crucial and impactful concept. As posited by Nye (1990), power has traditionally revolved around military prowess and economic clout, commonly referred to as “hard power.” In more recent times, scholars have underscored the significance of soft power, characterized by the ability to influence others’ preferences and ideals through attraction rather than coercion (Nye, 2004). In his works such as “Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power” (1990) and “Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics” (2004), Professor Joseph Nye defines soft power as “the capacity to attract others to align with our interests without resorting to force” (Nye J. S., 2004). Soft power represents the “second facet of power,” showcasing the capability to sway others without resorting to overt coercion. Utilizing soft power, particularly through public diplomacy, has proven instrumental in aiding nations in more effectively attaining their foreign policy goals. Nye conceptualizes power as the means to achieve one’s objectives and interests through the influence exerted over others, likening strength to affection (Heywood, 2011). According to Nye J. S. (2011, pp. 81-82), the roots of soft power trace back to antiquity. Nye (2004) outlines three avenues for power attainment: coercion and intimidation, incentives and rewards, and appealing to shared culture, values, and ideologies. Soft power, distinguished by its non-coercive nature, involves leveraging attractiveness and appeal to shape others’ preferences. It encompasses leveraging foreign policy, cultural elements, and political beliefs to effect change. Unlike coercive force, soft power represents the ability to influence through attraction. In the realm of international politics, all actors including non-governmental entities and international bodies possess the potential to wield soft power.

Diplomacy encompasses the art, science, and methodologies utilized by states, organizations, or individuals to safeguard their interests and enhance their political, economic, cultural, or scientific relations while fostering amicable ties. Traditionally associated with negotiations aimed at resolving conflicts or convening adversaries to seek common ground, diplomacy is perceived as a substitute for armed conflict, which is deemed as a diplomatic failure. Diplomatic endeavours incorporate both coercive measures and value-added incentives, although it is conventionally seen as a peaceful negotiation process. This may entail employing threats, force, or penalties, assessing the costs associated with accepting or rejecting specific agreements, and evaluating adversaries’ compliance. Diplomats play a pivotal role in international relations, serving as emissaries dispatched from one nation to another to engage in dialogue and explore opportunities for mutual interests. Foreign policy, wielded by national governments, guides their diplomatic engagements and alliances with other nations, reflecting their beliefs and objectives on the global stage. Many foreign policies prioritize national and international security, shaping a nation’s interactions with foreign entities and international organizations such as the United Nations. Understanding a nation’s foreign policy is integral to comprehending interstate relations, as each country upholds the right and duty to safeguard its national interests, guided by historical and contemporary stances in global politics, cultural legacies, geographical factors, public opinion dynamics, and ideological orientations.

Power and authority are manifested through force, appeasement, and diplomacy, influenced by cultural, ideological, and technological advancements. Historical contexts like the First and Second World Wars illustrate the spectrum of power application from forceful coercion to diplomatic negotiations. Modern globalization and scientific progressions serve as tools for expanding and consolidating national soft powers. Comprehending soft power is paramount for formulating effective foreign policies. Nye contends that while non-state actors such as universities, multinational corporations, and influential figures in cultural and creative domains contribute to persuading foreign populations to align with a nation’s policies, the state remains the predominant actor in soft power politics.

Review of Literature

In the words of Nye (1990), soft power refers to a state’s ability to influence people without using coercion or force to achieve its goals. Soft power, as opposed to hard power, is built on appeal and persuasion through culture, values, and institutions. 

Soft power emerged from early arguments about power in international affairs. Joseph Nye originated the notion of soft power in the 1990s and expanded on it in his book Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (2004). It also explores the future of shifting from a hard power approach to a soft power during policy development and attaining national interests.

In his book ‘The Future of Power’ (2011), Joseph S. Nye, Jr. discusses how power is shifting in the twenty-first century. Following globalisation, non-state actors have emerged as major players in power conflicts. The emergence of Chinese soft power and the competition it represents for the United States are examined here. 

Cultural Diplomacy (2007) by Kirsten Bound, Rachel Briggs, John Holden, and Samuel Jones highlights the significance of culture in international relations with examples from the UK, China, Ethiopia, France, India, and Norway. Published by Demos. The work describes how cultural diplomacy can help to build solid relationships and set the path for a new generation of diplomacy in the year to follow. 

Research Questions

To analyse the topic of “The Influence of Soft Power in Shaping Diplomacy and Foreign Policy,” some questions must be established before developing into the intricate details of the subject. A series of remarks on these topics would help to contextualize the arguments about the context and scope of soft power’s influence on the states’ diplomacy and foreign policy.

  1. How is cultural diplomacy related to soft power?
  2. Do regional historical narratives and legacies affect the country’s diplomacy?
  3. To what extent does a country’s soft power get influenced by the non-governmental entities (non-state actors) and how does this affect the country’s diplomatic position?
  4. How does the country’s soft power promote the objectives of the foreign policy?


Through a variety of methods, including case studies of particular nations, examinations of cultural diplomacy projects, and regional historical narratives, this article seeks to assess the impact of soft power on foreign policy and diplomacy. 

Research Design: To examine the intricate interactions between soft power, diplomacy, and foreign policy, this research uses a qualitative methodology. Qualitative approaches enable a detailed analysis of the topic, revealing the nuances of historical settings and cultural effects. 

Case Study Selection: The essay includes case studies of many nations renowned for their skilful application of soft power in international affairs. These case studies will cover a variety of nations, including China, Turkey, India, and the United States, which were selected for their unique approaches to historical narratives and cultural diplomacy. Through an analysis of these examples, the research seeks to discern trends and tactics utilized by various countries to bolster their soft power and accomplish diplomatic goals.

Secondary Data Collection: Academic papers, government publications, and policy documents about soft power, diplomacy, and foreign policy will all be thoroughly reviewed to gather data for this study. 

Analysis: To find recurrent themes, patterns, and correlations about the impact of soft power on diplomacy and foreign policy, the gathered data will be subjected to a thematic analysis. The case studies will be compared and contrasted to show how they differ and overlap, providing insight into successful soft power strategies and how they affect international relations.

Integration of Regional Historical Narratives: To place the impact of soft power within particular geopolitical contexts, this article will also integrate regional historical narratives in addition to case studies. The article seeks to clarify how regional dynamics impact the use of soft power in sustaining diplomatic positions and inform foreign policy decisions by looking at historical events and cultural interactions. 

Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power 

As the globe transitioned from bi-polarity to multi-polarity, cultural diplomacy became increasingly important. This has significantly impacted how nations define and project their national identity. Cultural, religious, and ethnic aspects increasingly shape our identity and community. Emerging Asian powers recognize the value of culture and use it to portray themselves to global public opinion, potential partners, and allies. They provide alternative economic and political models to compete with the West (Bound, Briggs, Holden, & Jones, 2007). 

However, the rising importance of culture is unable to provide a proper definition for the same, causing the essence of the term to blend into the theoretical framework of soft power and its theories. Global cultural policies are now more relevant than ever due to social, economic, and geopolitical changes. Financial and technological globalization, as well as post-Fordism economic shifts (Jessop 2002; Brenner 2004; Zamorano, 2016), have emphasized cultural creation and consumption in post-industrial societies (Bell 1972; Zamorano, 2016). Nations and scholars recognize the importance of arts and cultural industries in constructing power in the international system. This has led to a diversification of cultural policy and the involvement of new countries in its growth. In the industrialized world, there has been a trend towards entrepreneurial and local public culture management (Harvey 1989; Zamorano, 2016). The globalization of these local policies has had a considerable impact on cultural diplomacy. Globalization has led to multilayered diplomacy in the cultural arena, involving sub-national levels of administration (Hocking 1993). Cultural diplomacy is increasingly important for supra-national organizations like UNESCO and the EU, as marginalized national and sub-national organizations participate in multilevel governance (Singh 2010; Zamorano, 2016). 

Edmund Guillon, an American academic who worked for the US State Department, created the phrase “public diplomacy” in 1965 to avoid the label propaganda. In the post-war era, public diplomacy was also referred to as “public opinion diplomacy,” which involved establishing rapport between governments and foreign citizens (Mannheim, 1994). Public diplomacy involves communicative actions such as TV campaigns, radio shows, and international events to build favourable interest in a political region and social groupings. Governments use these operations to promote external acts, such as tourism and investment, that benefit a given political space. Since the 19th century, these strategies have shaped nation-states and are now integrated into their postcolonial actions. During World Wars II and III and the Cold War, public diplomacy evolved into a distinct technique that has often been equated with propaganda (Zamorano, 2016). Cultural diplomacy is employed in an ambiguous conceptual context and is typically subsumed or put as the primary subfield of public diplomacy ((Melissen, 2005; Zamorano, 2016). Furthermore, cultural diplomacy refers to the various applications of culture as a communication channel between governments and diplomats (Bound, Briggs, Holden, & Jones, 2007).

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on influencing foreign citizens and leaders. Diplomacy, defined as ‘the art or practice of handling international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and accords’, concentrates on conversations and connections between a small number of elites, whereas public diplomacy tries to reach the masses. Public and cultural diplomacy are inextricably linked, despite their diverse nature. There is, however, no agreement on the objectives and methods of public diplomacy. Inherent within all public diplomacy work is the Harvard Professor of International Relations, Joseph Nye’s, idea of soft power (Bound, Briggs, Holden, & Jones, 2007)

Culture has the potential to reach a large number of people, making it an excellent medium for public diplomacy. Culture has a broad definition. Established cultural institutions, as well as contemporary art and performance, exist and interact within a larger context of popular culture. The division between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture is becoming obsolete due to cultural institutions’ efforts to expand audiences and innovative techniques for presentation, performance, interpretation, and digitization. In 2003, the BM’s exhibition The Treasure of the World’s Cultures drew 1.3 million people in four Japanese towns and 600,000 in South Korea before travelling to Beijing in 2006. The British Library’s website receives 24 million visits annually, while the British Council organizes over 1500 cultural events in 109 countries as part of ongoing projects, programs, and collaborations. Mass popular culture has a global presence. While Hollywood has been offering points of reference for a century, the scope, speed, and impact of this phenomenon are evolving.  Food is another significant cultural export. Thailand has employed international restaurants to promote its culture and tourism, recognizing the value of its cuisine. In 2003, Thailand’s government launched ‘Global Thai’ to increase the number of Thai restaurants worldwide, promoting tourism and raising awareness of the country. The success of the first McDonald’s restaurant in the former USSR in the late 1980s signalled a widespread rejection of the Soviet model. India is a leading soft power in the 21st century, with a democratic tradition of over 60 years, Mahatma Gandhi as a national hero, Bollywood as a global dream fabric, and long-standing engagement in multilateral institutions. On the one hand, India’s pluralistic character, which promoted the concept of ‘unity in variety,’ has helped the durability of its democracy. A cultural majority attempting to subjugate a smaller minority would likely exacerbate domestic strife. The experiences of ethnic conflicts in neighbouring countries, such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan, provide negative examples in this regard. However, it is very important to acknowledge that identity conflicts remain a sensitive domestic issue in India (Bound, Briggs, Holden, & Jones, 2007). 

Regional Historical Narratives and Legacies on the Nations’ Diplomatic Position 

Regional history is a rich source of stories that governments can use in cultural diplomacy. Sharing historical experiences with adjacent countries helps develop a sense of community and understanding. Nations that evolved from the same empire, for example, may stress artistic and architectural influences in their cultural exchange programs, emphasizing a feeling of shared ancestry. Regional narratives can be used to highlight a country’s positive impact on the world. However, regional narratives can be a two-edged sword. Conflict, colonization, and political rivalry can cause major divisions between nations. For example, historical tensions between Japan and its Asian neighbours during World War II continue to influence cultural exchange initiatives. Cultural diplomacy requires careful navigation through these contentious narratives. States all over the world are vying for the designation of world heritage to strengthen specific types of cultural nationalism and civic identities at home. Globally, it has become known as the cultural Olympics of history, with great effort being put into making sure that the worlds of European, Persian, Arab, Indian, or Chinese pasts receive the credit they so well deserve. 

Indian Diplomacy and its Regional Historical Narratives and Legacies 

India, one of the birthplaces of human civilization, has a rich cultural legacy. Within the ever-evolving field of global literature, Indian literature holds a unique position. It is a work of literature with a long historical legacy dating back many thousand years, and it has achieved incredible things, contributing to humanity’s shared spiritual inheritance. Indian literature and culture have influenced many other nations’ literary traditions worldwide since a very early time. The Indian epic is especially regarded as the source of soft power, the conduit between Indian and global culture, and the agent that facilitates the spread of Indian culture throughout other nations, with Southeast Asia being the most visibly and profoundly impacted. According to Y. Ramesh, who studied the impact of the Indian epic on Indian and global culture, literature, and the arts, “it transcends the limitations of time, place, and circumstances and presents a universal appeal to people speaking different languages, dwelling different countries, and having different religious persuasions.” The two major epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, coupled with the Vedas and Puranas provide the firm and enduring basis of the illustrious and age-old Indian culture and civilization. The vast nation of India is home to several ethnic groups, legends, and people with vivid imaginations and a habit of continuous thought. Storytelling artists frequently gather folktales from various sources and weave them together to create longer more complex content. India’s soft power and diplomacy have been greatly impacted by regional historical narratives (Dalmia & Malone, 2012). India is defined by the Vishnu Purana (2.3.1) as the region that lies south of the Himalayas and north of the sea; it is also referred to as Varsam tad Bharatam. Foreign policy has always been necessary to address international interactions since human life has always been arranged into groups. Nonetheless, the inexperienced may find foreign politics to be fairly obscure. In a nutshell, it is a nation’s strategy for advancing and defending its interests in the external environment when interacting with other nations on a bilateral and multilateral basis. It is a clear representation of the nation’s traditional values, and general political climate, as well as its goals and sense of self (Gangopadhyay, 2023).

Evidence of Indian foreign policy and diplomacy dates back to the Vedic era, approximately 1500–500 BCE. Indian literature from antiquity is full of examples of foreign policy. Ashvamedha, or horse sacrifice, is one of the rituals that are mentioned in the Vedas. The king’s right to reign was at stake in this political rite. For a year, a horse—always a stallion—would be permitted to roam the grounds unhindered by members of the king’s entourage. The king had to take possession of the area if the horse ventured into an enemy’s realm. The horse’s attendants were allowed to challenge any of the king’s adversaries to a duel in the interim. The monarch would forfeit his right to rule if they did and the horse was killed. In contrast, the horse was returned to the king’s court if, after a year, it remained alive. It was bathed, anointed with butter, adorned with golden embellishments, and offered as a sacrifice here. Following the completion of this ceremony, the king was regarded as the unchallenged monarch of the entire territory the horse had traversed. The Ashvamedha was a ceremony conducted by all Vedic Indian monarchs; it only began to fade in the later Gupta era. The horse comes from Central Asia, not India, and one piece of evidence that places the Indo-Europeans outside of India is the Ashvamedha. The horse was considered sacrosanct by the people of the steppe, and dead monarchs and horses were sometimes buried together. Throughout the Eurasian landmass, horse sacrifices have been performed by people in China, Iran, Armenia, Greece, Rome, and even Ireland. According to the Irish custom, the monarch had sexual intercourse with a mare before she was slain, mutilated, and boiled in a cauldron where the king swam and drank the broth (Ringmar, 2019).

There aren’t many tales in Indian mythology that have the same profound resonance as the story of Ram and Sita. In addition to serving as a pillar of cultural legacy, their deeply romantic and traditional marriage has had a minor impact on modern Indian diplomatic stances and cultural diplomacy. The epic Ramayana, credited to the wise Valmiki, preserves the tale of Ram and Sita. Sage Vishwamitra asks Ram for assistance in the early years of Gurukul to keep demonic disturbances from affecting his sacrifices. Ram proves his bravery and justice by defeating Tataka, the formidable demon, and her son Subahu in addition to carrying out his duties. Ram is next led by Vishwamitra to Mithila, the site of Sita’s swayamvara, a ceremony in which a princess selects her spouse from among suitable suitors, after becoming enthralled with his strength and moral qualities. The Ramayana’s portrayal of Vishwamitra as a wise counsellor and mentor highlights the value of discernment, direction, and mentoring in international relations. This can be understood in terms of contemporary diplomacy as the function of seasoned leaders and diplomats in building international understanding and alliances. The Ramayana is an amalgam of local stories and cultural inspirations. There are numerous variants of the epic across India, each reflecting local beliefs, customs, and storytelling practices. India’s soft power is enhanced by this diversity, which highlights the country’s plurality and depth of cultures. 

Lord Krishna himself acted as a last-resort mediator in the Mahabharata to prevent hostilities between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Frenzied diplomacy preceded the Mahabharata War as both sides despatched envoys to create military alliances. The actual conflict was a Dharmayuddha, or battle of righteousness, governed by chivalry, diplomatic relations, and a well-defined strategy between the two opposing sides. Amnesty and immunity were well-established and accepted ideas (Gangopadhyay, 2023). 

In terms of religious philosophy, two quite different traditions emerged. A priest-led civilization flourished in the western half of the Ganges River valley, which is now Pakistan. This culture was initially detailed in the Vedas and was centred on rituals and the gurus’ hidden teachings. Here, the focus was on the sacrifices that the gods demanded and the potential rewards for fulfilling them. This is the religious tradition that gave rise to Hinduism later on. The Brahmins, who represented the upper echelon of society, were responsible for maintaining these customs, and the spiritual foundation of their authority sprang from the knowledge they had within. However, the focus was more on ascetic practices, meditation, and the spiritual growth of each individual in the eastern Ganges plains, which is today’s Bangladesh. In this setting, two schools emerged that would eventually develop into recognized religions: Buddhism and Jainism. The Jains are well-known for their ahimsa, or “non-violence,” belief, which led them to become vegetarians and give up on war. Siddhartha Gautama, a prince who probably originated Buddhism in the fifth century BCE, was born in the modern-day Nepali state of Shakya, a tiny monarchy. He first led the conventional, hedonistic life of a royal, getting married and starting a family. “The awakened one,” or “Buddha,” is what Siddhartha attained. The Buddha taught that the world is an illusion and that we create our misery by our cravings and never-ending striving. The ego is also a delusion. Being freed from sorrow and our sense of self is the goal of enlightenment. We can avoid having to be reincarnated in this way. Sixth-century CE saw the construction of two enormous Buddha sculptures in the valley of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan. The world’s largest standing Buddha statues, measuring 35 and 53 meters, respectively, were hewn straight out of the sandstone rock.  The Bamiyan Buddhas were amazing representations of the diverse fusion of cultural influences that defined Bactria; although they were dressed in Greek attire, they were sufficiently Indian.  Buddhism flourished throughout the Kushan Empire after being introduced to Afghanistan in the fourth century BCE. Bamiyan served as a hub for caravan routes that connected China, India, and Central Asia at the time. The monasteries built here were the starting point for the widespread Buddhist influence (Ringmar, 2019).

In his book Indica, Megasthenes, the Greek envoy to India during the Chandragupta Mauryan era, describes the nation. Delmachos was dispatched as an ambassador by the Syrian king Antiochus and Dinyosius by the Egyptian king Ptolemy (298 BC – 273 BC) during the reign of Indian King Bindusara (297-273 BCE). For the sake of state security and amicable ties, numerous kings during the Buddhist era and beyond assigned diplomatic emissaries to handle delicate and crucial missions. From 273 BC to 232 BC, Emperor Ashoka forged diplomatic and cordial ties with the monarchs of Macedonia, Cyrene, Syria, Egypt, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The Persian Shah Khosru Parvez and the Indian monarch Pulkesin II had diplomatic ties in the seventh century AD. Evidence exists of diplomatic ties between the Chinese imperial court and Indian King Harsha Vardhana.

Any account of Indian diplomacy must include Chanakya’s Arthshashtra, the world’s first complete treatise on diplomatic practice. Chanakya, also called Kautilya, served as Emperor Chandragupta’s prime minister and advisor. Chandragupta was the head of the Maurya dynasty, which ruled Patliputra in the fourth century BCE. Chandragupta successfully ousted the Nanda dynasty and exiled the Greek footprint from northwest India under the guidance of Chanakya. Approximately 25% of Chanakya’s Arthshashtra, also known as “The Science of Material Gain,” is devoted to foreign affairs and diplomacy, even though the majority of the book deals with statecraft. It was composed circa 300 BCE. It’s surprising how much of his speech holds over twenty-four decades later (Gangopadhyay, 2023). 

The Gupta dynasty, which ruled from 319 to 605, began to dominate the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent in the fourth century. The Gupta Empire had paid officials, a tax system, and a bureaucracy, just like any other state. The Gupta monarchs dispersed their likenesses around the country by having their portraits imprinted on coinage. The sciences also advanced significantly. The zero was created at this period by Indian mathematicians. Although the number zero seems unimportant, it revolutionized mathematics. They also discovered that 3.14 plus a lengthy string of digits equalled π or pi. With astounding accuracy, Indian astronomers determined both the earth’s diameter and the number of days in a year. Many of the things that we now consider to be distinctly “Indian,” such as Indian music, architecture, sculpture, and paintings, originated during the Gupta era. At that time, Hinduism also underwent institutionalization and received prescribed books, customs, and prayers. The iconic forms of the Hindu gods, such as the four-armed Vishnu, the dancing Shiva, the elephant-headed god Ganesh, the monkey-headed god Hanuman, and others, originated during the Gupta era. These new pictures were guaranteed to be widely circulated due to the Gupta Empire’s immense influence (Ringmar, 2019). 

The foreign policy of the Chola Empire (300 BC–1279 AD) was dynamic and creative. During the Chola era, trade, diplomacy, and naval might were combined. They controlled Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives at the height of their power struggle. They ruled over South Asia, a region that was unheard of at the time, using their naval base in India.
On the diplomatic front, it was an equally interesting tale. The Cholas’ sphere of influence in South Asia stretched much beyond their territorial boundaries. When called upon, their naval commanders likewise retreated diplomatically. The Mauryan Empire was among the Cholas’ neighbours with whom they enjoyed very cordial ties. They worked together with the Mysore Kingdom to subjugate Sri Lanka. They established strong diplomatic ties with both Burma and China. According to Ban Gu’s The Book of Han, the Chinese despatched their own ambassadors in retaliation for the Chola King Rajendra Chola I’s three messengers to China. The discovery of Chinese coinage in the Chola dynasty centres lends credence to the relationship between the Chinese and the Cholas (Gangopadhyay, 2023). 

Diplomatic ties were maintained between states within the Indian subcontinent and with other states during the medieval era of Indian history. Rulers from Afghanistan and Turkey, with headquarters in Delhi and other places, kept diplomatic ties with governments in Tibet and China as well as with the states of Central Asia, Persia, the Arab world, Asia Minor, Greece, and the Levant. The kingdoms of southern India’s west coast retained diplomatic ties with the African rulers bordering the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Diplomatic ties were maintained between states within the Indian subcontinent and with other states during the medieval era of Indian history. Rulers from Afghanistan and Turkey, with headquarters in Delhi and other places, kept diplomatic ties with governments in Tibet and China as well as with the states of Central Asia, Persia, the Arab world, Asia Minor, Greece, and the Levant. The kingdoms of southern India’s west coast retained diplomatic ties with the African rulers bordering the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. The Delhi Sultans’ foreign policy was significantly influenced by their contacts with the Caliphate. An influential development in Central Asia was the rise of Tinder Chengiz Khan and the Mongols, and these events influenced the early Turkish sultans’ foreign policy. The arrival of the Mongols in Hindustan in search of the elusive Khwarazm ruler Jalaluddin Manqbarni terrified Delhi’s Sultan Iltutmish. It appeared that Iltmish was protecting his foreign policy because he was aware of the Mongol threat that was approaching India. He avoided the Mongol threat during his lifetime because he was a wise and diplomatic leader. In his Tabaqat-i-Nasri, Minhaj-us-Siraj claims that Sultan Iltutmish raised the Islamic flag at a time when the Mongols had destroyed all other Muslim nations. However, this position did not last after Iltmish’s death, and Mongol invasions became a formidable issue during the early Turkish period. The Sultanate of Delhi was severely disturbed and its peace and prosperity were ruined by the Mongols’ frequent and unwelcome raids (Gangopadhyay, 2023). 

One of the invaders was the Mughals, who originated in what is now Uzbekistan and made their way to India in 1526. They were to control practically the whole subcontinent for the next three centuries. The Muslim Mughals were to have a significant cultural influence on Indian society. However, Hindu customs persisted. Even the most formidable foreign invaders were forced to adapt to Indian ways of life to eventually become part of the local culture. Furthermore, India has had a significant impact on Southeast Asia in particular as well as the rest of Asia. Indian cultural practices and concepts about society and religion began to spread throughout the Indian Ocean throughout the early centuries of the Common Era, creating new cultural hybrids. This might be referred to as an “Indianization” process. Because of this Indianization, the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslims, Angkor Wat in Cambodia was once constructed as a Hindu temple complex, and Thailand is now a Buddhist country. Even though the imprint of Indian culture is now perceived globally, it still has a significant influence on non-Indians (Ringmar, 2019). During the Mughal era, cultural diplomacy reached a major turning point with the marriage of Mughal Emperor Akbar and Harka Bai. This marriage of a Muslim ruler and a Hindu Rajput princess represented a political partnership while simultaneously bridging cultural divides to promote peace and understanding. During a period when disparities in religion and culture frequently resulted in disputes, this union demonstrated a disposition toward acceptance and tolerance. It acted as a potent unifying message that promoted religious and cultural harmony throughout the empire. The Sulh-i-Kul (peace with all) policy of Akbar (Moin, 2022) encouraged inclusion, tolerance, and discussion among religions. His union with a Hindu princess served as a symbol of his dedication to promoting peace between the various religious and cultural communities that made up the Mughal Empire. 

Non-state Actors on Nations’ Soft Power and Diplomatic Position

In the information era, non-state actors play a growing role in the global arena. Private organizations are increasingly crossing national boundaries. The information revolution has resulted in a significant growth in the number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), from 6,000 to around 26,000 in the 1990s alone. The data only includes formal organizations; therefore, it does not provide a complete picture (Ikenberry & Florini, 2001; Keck & Sikkink, 1998). Many non-governmental organizations claim to operate as a “global conscience” reflecting broad public interests beyond the purview of specific states. They create new norms directly by pressuring governments and business leaders to modify policies, and indirectly by influencing public perceptions of what governments and businesses should be doing. Greenpeace had a budget of $157 million in 2001, whereas the intergovernmental World Trade Organization had a budget of $90 million. However, these new groups typically lack significant power resources. In any case, the information revolution has significantly increased NGOs’ soft power (Edwards, 2000). Governments must see non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as both allies and opponents due to their large following. Brussels, London, and Paris are more popular cities for international nongovernmental groups than Washington and New York, according to American perspectives (Kaldor, 2003). The number and diversity of international organizations has grown. Previously, transnational organizations often consisted of enormous bureaucratic institutions with significant expenditures, such as multinational corporations or the Roman Catholic Church. Corporate brand names have long been known for their soft power. While traditional organizations are still crucial, the Internet has made communication more affordable, leading to the rise of loosely structured network organizations and individuals. Corporate brand names have long been known for their soft power. While traditional organizations are still crucial, the Internet has made communication more affordable, leading to the rise of loosely structured network organizations and individuals. This is part of the democratization of technology. Flexible nongovernmental organizations and networks can effectively penetrate states across boundaries. These networks can attract media and government attention due to their involvement in domestic politics across multiple countries.
They form a new type of global political coalition. The coalition to outlaw land mines brought together NGOs, celebrities, and politicians from several countries. The information revolution makes states more permeable. Governments must now share the stage with players who may use information to strengthen their soft power and influence governments, either directly or indirectly through popular mobilization. Transnational organizations’ increasing importance can be gauged by the number of mentions they receive in mainstream media publications, as credible editors and cue-givers can filter through the abundance of information available on the internet. The largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have established themselves as key players in attracting important editors’ attention. Human Rights Watch’s 2003 World Report, which criticized the US government’s role in the fight against terrorism, sparked coverage in 288 newspapers and magazines within ten days (Nye, 2004, pp. 90–95). Since 1992, the phrase “nongovernmental organization” or “NGO” has been used 17 times more in this sector. NGOs like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Greenpeace, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), and Transparency International have seen a significant increase in mainstream media coverage. NGOs successfully prevented a proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment in the late 1990s and disrupted the World Trade Organization summit in 1999, dubbed the “battle of Seattle.” The Internet allows them to promote appealing alternate viewpoints to those at home. Internet links between foreign nationals and local populations led to protests in Beijing against anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia in 1998. The resentment of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia was quickly transmitted to Beijing. In Zimbabwe, the Internet played a vital role in disseminating information regarding government actions during disputed elections. NGO initiatives to “name and shame” companies that pay low salaries to labourers in developing nations frequently target multinational corporations. Campaigns that scare firms by losing their global brand identities can be effective. Greenpeace coordinated a boycott campaign against Shell’s proposed deep-ocean disposal of the Brent Spar drilling rig, which would have polluted the ocean. As a result, Shell chose to dismantle the rig on land, which was more costly. Greenpeace’s reputation and soft power suffered after it was revealed that the initial Shell proposal was more environmentally friendly. Shell prioritizes non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and has pledged not to drill near UNESCO World Heritage sites. Two years ago, Shell abandoned plans to drill near a World Heritage site in Bangladesh due to environmental concerns (Timmons, 2003). 

Some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are more reliable and trustworthy than governments, but others are not. A recent poll in Europe revealed that 42% of Europeans trust NGOs, whereas 36% distrust them. In Britain and Germany, more people distrusted NGOs than trusted them (“GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences,” 2001). Activists refer to these organizations as “the world’s other superpower,” yet governments risk ignoring them. Some individuals have strong local and international political influence due to their reputation and trustworthiness. Some individuals may lack trust among moderate citizens, yet possess strong organizational and communication skills, enabling them to mobilize demonstrations that governments cannot ignore. Today, international meetings often take into account the possibility of protest. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and network groups frequently utilize soft-power resources. For decades, organized religious movements wielded soft power. The Roman Catholic church has a global presence, and many adhere to its beliefs on birth control and abortion due to attraction, rather than pressure. In recent decades, missionary activities by Protestant, Islamic, and Buddhist organizations have led to the conversion of millions in Latin America and Africa. However, intolerant religious institutions can both repel and attract. Aggressive preaching may harm soft power rather than build it. Intergovernmental institutions like the United Nations and World Trade Organization can build soft power. Diplomacy varies based on the specific procedures and culture of each organization, but is shaped by the state that founded it. To understand the UN’s reputation, it’s important to distinguish between the roles of the General Assembly and the Security Council (which has veto power). Additionally, regional caucuses can lead to negative outcomes, such as Libya chairing the Human Rights Commission. The personality and skills of the secretary-general might impact the organization’s reputation. Kofi Annan, like the pope, has few troops, but his popularity and position draw attention to his words (Nye, 2004, pp. 90–95). 

Although not the sole source of legitimacy in global politics, the UN’s universality, legal framework, and relative appeal lend credibility to its votes and pronouncements. Political events can affect the UN’s reputation and soft power. The US’s decision to enter the Iraq War without a second Security Council resolution harmed both the UN and America’s credibility. As a result, 19 out of 21 countries polled saw the UN as less relevant in resolving international disputes (Pew Global Attitudes Project, 2003). The UN’s reputation has shifted over time. In Europe, post-Iraq War trust in the UN is lower than in 2002 but still comparable to the 1990s. The United Nations has regained its pre-war popularity in the US, following a temporary drop. Soft power can also be used to support malicious groups and networks. While most people oppose transnational terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, some fanatics find them appealing. During the Cold War, the US faced significant soft-power challenges from the Soviet Union and Communism. Today, radical Islamist ideology and organizations pose a greater threat. The extremist Wahhabi sect, which started on the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th century, has been strengthened by violent elements of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which emerged in Egypt in the 1920s (Berman, 2003). Saudi Arabia’s royal family aided the spread of extremist Islamism by promoting Wahhabism to appease clerics and gain political legitimacy, sacrificing stability elsewhere (Benjamin & Simon, 2002, p. 187). In the aftermath of 9/11, “Osama” became a popular name for infant boys in Africa, and T-shirts featuring bin Laden were selling well in Pakistan. This may be a novel spin on the lengthy tradition of Robin Hood legends among the impoverished and dispossessed, but it also reflects broader Islamic views. The fight on terrorism is a civil conflict between extremists and moderates inside Islamic civilization. The soft power of Islamists serves as a warning to Americans and others to support moderates through improved soft power projection. Moderate churches and synagogues can help moderate Muslims. Abraham is a renowned figure in all three religions, making an Abrahamic dialogue between Muslims, Christians, and Jews a potential avenue for nongovernmental actors to use soft power to promote understanding (Nye, 2004, pp. 90–95).

Soft Power and Objectives of Foreign Policy

Lasswell (1958) identified four types of foreign policy instruments: political (propaganda), diplomatic, economic, and military. He also analysed their respective value results and societal institutions (Lasswell, 1958, p.202). Baldwin (1985), a political economist, emphasized the importance of further research into power strategies to better understand their function. Although Baldwin (1985) expanded on Lasswell’s (1958) categorization, he argued that reducing these four instruments to only war and diplomacy limits policy possibilities (p.13).  Brighi and Hill’s (Smith, Hadfield, & Dunne, 2008) ascending scale of foreign policy instruments is beneficial for categorizing them further. The foreign policy taxonomy includes five categories: military action, political intervention, negative sanctions, positive sanctions, and diplomacy. The ascending scale distinguishes between hard power (Military Action) and soft power instruments, reflecting the seriousness of the country’s decision-makers. 

The inclusion of soft power as a tool in foreign policy, as well as its factors that enhance the objectives of the state’s foreign policy, can be understood through the examples of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency and Turkish Foreign Policy and the Chinese Environmental Foreign Policy

Case of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA)

There is growing interest in understanding Turkey’s foreign policy reform and increased prominence in the area. TIKA, founded in 1992, has significantly increased the volume and geographic area of its aid since 2004. As of 2010, TIKA’s program coordinating offices operated in 25 countries, including the Balkans, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Turkey’s official development aid (ODA) exceeded 900 million dollars in 2010, placing it third among non-Development Aid Committee (DAC) countries that year.  Thus, the observed rise in TIKA operations is critical to explaining policy change. The TIKA is a one-of-a-kind example of how ideas and material interests have influenced Turkey’s foreign policy reform. Turkey’s use of soft power through TIKA is significant since bilateral development assistance serves as a tool for public diplomacy and foreign policy (Ipek, 2013).

Turkish support to foreign countries began in 1957 when it contributed to the UN’s multilateral technical assistance program.5 Turkey’s initial bilateral support was restricted in quantity and geographical scope. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the resulting changes in the immediate environment of Turkish foreign policy, an agency was founded in 1992 to plan, coordinate, and administer development assistance. It was renamed the TIKA in 2001 and reorganized under the Prime Minister’s supervision (Parlak 2007). Changes in TIKA activities can be divided into three major periods: (i) the early period, from its inception in 1992 to May 2001 (when its administrative status changed); (ii) the transition period, from 2001 to 2004 (when Turkey’s development assistance was aligned with the DAC’s classification and reporting rules); and (iii) the late period, from 2004 to 2010. The late period is puzzling because the volume and means of TIKA’s Official Developmental Assistance, as well as its geographic reach, have changed significantly (Parlak 2007; TIKA Annual Reports 2004–2010). For example, between 1992 and 1996, the Central Asia-Caucasus region received the majority of Turkey’s overall ODA (86.5%). Between 1997 and 2003, the sum decreased to 40% due to a shift in focus to reconstruction and humanitarian activities in the Balkans and Eastern Europe region following the ethnic wars in Bosnia and Kosovo (1993-1995 and 1998-1999, respectively; Parlak 2007:74,79). In the 1990s, TIKA’s agenda was shaped by economic interests in energy resources, pipeline projects in Central Asia-Caucasus, and ethnic unrest in the Balkans, all of which threatened Turkey’s commercial links. Nonetheless, Turkey’s ODA fell dramatically in 1992 and remained relatively low until 2004, owing to major economic crises in the 1990s and 2001 (Ipek, 2013). 

After coalition governments held power in Turkey from 1991 to 2002, the AKP majority government was elected in 2002 and nominated new foreign policy officials. The AKP foreign policy elite is composed of the following individuals: (i) Davutoglu, who served as the prime minister of Turkey’s chief advisor on foreign affairs from 2003 to 2009 and is currently the minister of foreign affairs; (ii) Hakan Fidan, who led the National Intelligence Service as deputy head from 2009 to 2010 and is currently the head of the agency; and (iii) Ibrahim Kalin, who has served as the prime minister’s chief advisor on foreign affairs since 2009. Davutoglu’s interpretations of Turkey’s “historical and geographical depth” Davutoglu (2008:78-79) summarize the essence of his normative principles. Historical and geographic depth examines a country’s past, present, and future relationships, which are said to be based on ecocultural, geopolitical, and geoeconomic elements at the domestic, regional, and global levels. His unified definition of strategic depth, as envisioned through these historical and geographic aspects, serves as the foundation for his normative notions about how to build soft power and a new vision for Turkey’s foreign policy. 

He highlights, for instance, the three methodological principles (causal beliefs) and five operational principles (based upon the principled beliefs stated in Strategic Depth, 2001) in the new foreign strategy. Six He characterizes the latter as (i) adopting a new discourse and diplomatic approach that has led to the expansion of Turkish soft power in the region; (ii) basing foreign policy on a “consistent and systematic” framework globally; and (iii) taking a “visionary” approach to the issues rather than the “crisis-oriented” attitude that dominated foreign policy during the entire Cold War period (Davutoglu 2010).  Davutoglu defines the societal purpose, assesses the structural environment, and frames issues to develop solutions for his foreign policy vision. His core convictions are endorsed by a limited group of elites in foreign policy. The “reconstruction of the previous geographic imagination in policy-making circles” is the reason given by Aras and Fidan (2009:197) for the shift in Turkish foreign policy.  Since 2004, TIKA has used its annual reports as a tool of soft power to show how these ideational influences have impacted its operations. Operational principles include full and uninterrupted collaboration between TIKA and the minister of foreign affairs, promotion of TIKA activities as public diplomacy, and prioritizing projects that boost Turkey’s profile in ODA recipient countries (TIKA 2006:3). These principles implicitly highlight the convergence of shared principled views and causal beliefs in formulating a foreign policy change, specifically the use of soft power through TIKA initiatives. Former Minister of State Besir Atalay, in charge of TIKA, publicly acknowledged the organization’s new position in foreign policy: “Our government recognizes the importance of ODA in foreign policy.”  2005 was proclaimed by the Turkish government as “the year of Africa in Turkey,” and TIKA established its first offices in that country. In keeping with the new foreign policy paradigm, offices and initiatives in the Middle East were also given priority. “TIKA has assumed responsibility for turning the increasing number of commitments made by the government of Turkey towards Sub-Saharan African countries, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq, etc. into concrete projects,” explained former State Minister Mustafa Said Yazicioglu in 2008, about Turkey’s soft power initiatives (Ipek, 2013). 

The Chinese Environmental Foreign Policy as a Soft Power: A Comprehensive Analysis

Climate change has been identified as one of the most pressing issues in today’s global politics, endangering all humanity. The Industrial Revolution marked a watershed moment in this sense, as increased industrial activity accelerated carbon dioxide emissions as industrialized countries increased their usage of fossil fuels. As a result, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased, resulting in climate change, mostly manifested as global warming. Climate change has become a worldwide concern that cannot be handled without the international community’s cooperation. Climate change has emerged as the most contentious subject in global environmental negotiations, with many arguing that it is inextricably related to international trade, development and security. China has taken promising steps to address climate change, such as increasing investment in renewable energy, implementing efficient air pollution control programs, and significantly reducing its energy and carbon intensity. China is more committed to climate action than neighbouring countries such as India. China has implemented ambitious climate-related programs, bringing the country’s environmental foreign policy closer to realizing its potential as a soft power asset (Karakır, 2018). 

Developing countries have typically collaborated in international climate change negotiations through the Group of 77 (G77) coalition, which includes China. They established a unified negotiating position on environmental concerns, saying that environmental degradation was mostly caused by human activities in the developed world, and that wealthy countries should play a larger role in dealing with it. They also sought financial and technological assistance from industrialized nations if they were to contribute to problem solutions. For example, at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the G77 plus China coalition was able to reach an agreement on the principle of CBDR, drawing attention to the rich world’s differentiated duty from the poor world (Karakır, 2018). 

Historically, as a developing country aligned with the G-77 group in global environmental negotiations, China completely endorsed the CBDR norm and refused to make any commitments in the sector. Overall, Chinese leaders emphasized economic development and national sovereignty over environmental deterioration (Sun 2016: 44-45). However, China’s environmental foreign policy has shifted significantly over time to reflect changes in both the domestic and international situations. According to Zhang (2016), China’s involvement in global climate change negotiations has “evolved from playing a peripheral role to gradually moving to the centre”. 

China’s posture and strategies in global climate change negotiations have changed dramatically over the last 26 years, dating back to the signing of the UNFCCC at the Rio Summit. China has made significant efforts to cut carbon emissions domestically, and its representatives have begun to participate constructively in international forums and summits. According to Stalley (2013), China no longer opposes legally binding obligations and has accepted voluntary targets for developing nations, while also providing its own emissions reduction targets. China has become more active in its attempts to protect the environment, and its policies are increasingly recognized by the world community.  Thus, it is fair to conclude that China’s progressive environmental policy has increased its prestige in global politics, thereby contributing to its soft power potential. Despite this development, China must enhance its environmental policy by addressing several inadequacies in this area. China’s compliance with international environmental responsibilities has helped to strengthen its image as a responsible and law-abiding country on the world stage. According to McBeath and Wang (2008: 11), environmental diplomacy is often a soft power exercise, and China has demonstrated significant success with its “grand strategy of a ‘peaceful rise’ in world politics”. Similarly, by adopting international environmental agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, China has demonstrated soft power, as this move has earned China respect from both developed and developing countries. Rauchfleisch (2018) predicts that China’s commitment to international environmental norms would strengthen its soft power potential, as the US’s soft power in this area declines (Karakır, 2018). 

To offer a more nuanced understanding of soft power than the widely recognized Western examples, case studies of China’s environmental foreign policy and Turkey’s Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) were selected. Turkey and China provide distinct viewpoints on how developing powers use soft power, in contrast to the frequently mentioned cases of Western countries, which usually rely on well-established institutions and broad cultural impact.  By utilizing historical and cultural connections to increase its influence in areas like the Balkans, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Turkey is demonstrating a change in strategy through the use of TIKA. This method reflects how a country might utilize development assistance as a vehicle for public diplomacy, in line with Turkey’s larger foreign policy goals of promoting economic cooperation and stability in the region.  China’s approach to environmental diplomacy represents a paradigm shift in international relations. China has shifted its position as a proactive leader in climate action, having previously supported developing countries’ opposition to legally binding agreements. China’s international standing and influence are enhanced by this calculated use of environmental diplomacy, particularly in light of the difficulties that conventional powers like the US are facing in this regard.  These examples demonstrate how global influence is dynamic and ever-changing, and they provide important new perspectives on how rising powers modify

soft power tactics to further their foreign policy objectives.


The story of nations on the international scene is shaped by the interwoven strands of culture, public opinion, and communication in the complex fabric of global diplomacy. The development of diplomatic tactics, particularly in the context of public and cultural diplomacy, reveals the intricate relationship between identity creation, communication tactics, and power dynamics. The significance of cultural factors becomes increasingly important as we negotiate the challenges posed by a multipolar world and the unrelenting forces of globalization. These factors can shape views, develop connections, and project power beyond national boundaries.

India is a prime illustration of how a country’s foreign policy vision and diplomatic posture are greatly influenced by its historical narratives, legacies, and cultural diversity. India’s diplomatic engagements carry the resonance of ancient epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, lending them a sense of coherence and profundity. India’s approach to foreign relations demonstrates a blend of tradition and innovation, with the diplomatic traditions of ancient empires such as the Mauryas, Guptas, and Cholas continuing to resonate in contemporary policies. Indian soft power, which is derived from its long history of philosophy, literature, and spirituality, is crucial in determining the nature of its diplomatic relations.  The timeless values of inclusiveness, tolerance, and peaceful cohabitation upheld by ancient leaders such as Ashoka and Akbar continue to influence India’s foreign policy environment today. India’s diplomatic initiatives are further enhanced by the country’s unique religious and cultural landscape, which forges connections with a wide range of countries and civilizations worldwide. 

The impact of non-state players, especially NGOs and network groups, has increased dramatically in the modern information age. Thanks to the information revolution, these organizations have significant soft power over public opinion, policy agendas, and international alliances. Civil society’s increasing influence in international events is demonstrated by organizations like Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace, which use media platforms and public backing to promote change and hold people accountable. But even with the growing power of non-state actors, open communication, tolerance for difference, and sincere comprehension are still essential. Governments must embrace cooperation while preserving democratic values and accountability frameworks as they negotiate non-state entities’ dual role as allies and rivals. Maintaining sustainable and meaningful international relations in the information age can be ensured by maintaining this delicate balance, which can promote a more inclusive and effective global governance framework. 

The development of foreign policy tools, as demonstrated by programs such as China’s environmental diplomacy and Turkey’s TIKA, highlights the critical role that soft power plays in modern international relations. These calculated moves demonstrate how countries use developmental and cultural programs to further their foreign policy goals, influencing opinion and increasing their standing internationally. In the face of a constantly changing global environment, knowing how to use soft power will be essential for resolving difficult geopolitical issues. A comprehensive and flexible approach to foreign policy that values variety, encourages communication, and advances understanding amongst people is necessary given the subtleties of cultural diplomacy and the impact of non-state actors. Under this ever-changing context, diplomacy keeps evolving due to the interaction of identity construction, power dynamics, and successful communication techniques.

Title Image Courtesy: Centre for Soft Power

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies


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By Arsheeta Dutta Baruah,

Arsheeta Dutta Baruah is pursuing a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science Honours from Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore. She is deeply interested in policy analysis, geopolitics, and risk analysis. She is a young scholar affiliated with the DRaS Praghna Research Programme. Her academic journey is marked by a passion for understanding global affairs and a commitment to exploring nuanced viewpoints in Geopolitics.