presentation appears in the May
25, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
and the Eurasian
Sujit Dutta is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and
Analysis in New Delhi. He delivered this address on May 5 at a conference
of the Schiller Institute in Bad Schwalbach, Germany.
Schiller Institute's ideas and the kind of conference you have held in the
past two days, is clearly an important step in the global struggle over
ideas, which is the most important in the current stage of the
is now well-recognized that the world is at a turning point in the realm
of political and economic ideas. It has been so since the end of the Cold
War. Large structures and ideas which underpinned Cold War era
institutions, and the politics and economics of that era, have died with
the end of bipolarity, Soviet disintegration, and the decline of state
socialism, on the one side, and the opening up of new states and political
also, in the capitalist domain, the old institutions are not working, and
are no more suitable to the kind of international challenges which have
emerged since the end of the Cold War. The efforts of classical economics,
underpinned by "structural realism" and neo-liberal ideas in the
international relations arena, are clearly not adequate to deal with the
kind of cooperative ventures which the international system—as described
at this conference—currently requires. The ideas, structures, and
perceptions that shaped the post-1945 order have struggled to cope with
the radical and ongoing changes.
we clearly need, is "globalization" of a different kind. We need
global integration; we need dominant international ideas, that will link
and make possible the kind of corridors and new institutional relations;
but we need to move away from the current debate on globalization, to make
that possible. It is not going to happen, unless there is a victory in the
realm of new institutional thinking: In the concept and strategy of new
ideas, that will link independent, national developmental strategies, with
regional and global strategies.
Struggle Over Ideas
am extremely happy, that all of you are engaged in creating these new
ideas. What is critically important, is the move away from the dominance
of Cold War ideas, towards a new international structure, conducive to the
Cold War-era ideas are increasingly inadequate to deal with the very
different challenges that the world now faces: the emerging tensions in
America's relations with China; the huge economic uncertainties in the
advanced capitalist economies of Japan, the United States, and Europe; the
financial meltdowns that have hit many of the new industrial economies
such as that in East Asia in 1997; the internal conflicts that are
ravaging states such as Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or parts of
Africa; the rise of fundamentalist political movements; and the myriad
challenges of economic reform facing the large developing
economies—Russia, China, India, Mexico. This is a historical point from
where the international system could take several directions, depending on
the kind of political forces and ideas that emerge as the dominant vision
of the era.
struggle over ideas to reconceptualize and reconfigure the international
system—and the political, economic, and security institutions that are
critically important for its stability and well-being—has been a
defining feature of the new era. While globalization, unipolarity or
multipolarity, clash or cooperation of civilizations, end of history,
Asian values or general human rights, etc., have been among the more
prominent issues in this debate, the fundamental issue has been to find
the principles that will ensure a peaceful, stable, secure, and
increasingly prosperous global community of peoples and states.
Role of India
is in many ways at the center of this struggle for the shaping of the
structures and dominant ideas of the emerging global order. This is not
normally understood in many countries. From the very beginning, the kind
of ideas that the Schiller Institute is discussing and proposing, have had
a strong resonance in India. They have been there since the 1950s, and the
combination of a developmental strategy linked to Non-Alignment and
castigation of the Cold War, meant that India has produced some of the
very interesting ideas and movements internationally. The Group of 77, the
struggle for a new international economic and political order: Many of
these, were movements which were born in India, and had strong resonance
through Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
ideas did not succeed, because the global institutions and the major
powers, did not back them. These ideas cannot come to fruition, without
solid backing of Europe, Japan, and the United States, and other countries
which dominate institutions.
the fact is that today, as these institutions face a crisis, there is a
possibility that the ideas that are discussed here, can succeed.
Therefore, what is absolutely important, is pragmatic notions of building
this alternative model of globalization, on structural linkages,
infrastructure, and new ideas of economic development.
largest state, along with China, in terms of population, India has been
organized by its post-independence nationalist leadership as a democratic,
secular, federal republic. With its heterogeneous linguistic, caste, and
religious composition, and the complex identity-formation of its people
over 4,000 years, the notions of secular values, cooperation and
coexistence among cultures, and rule of law, are crucial to its statehood
and form the core of its Constitution.
worldview is therefore rooted in universal political values that are
increasingly shaping a united Europe in particular.
some 40 years after Independence, India followed an inward-oriented
industrialization policy and a non-aligned foreign policy that abjured the
power politics of the Cold War. This achieved great success. Like China,
we started off from scratch—the British had built some things, but the
country was left with a huge, extremely challenging economic situation.
Levels of illiteracy and poverty were huge, infrastructure was poor, the
educational system was poor. All that had to be developed.
collaboration with the Soviet Union and some other European countries, and
even with the United States in the agriculture sector, we built a very
diversified and extensive economy over the past 50 years.
is critical to understand, that this was a policy that enabled India to
build a large industrial and scientific base covering all areas—steel,
machine tools, nuclear energy, aerospace technology, chemicals and
pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, telecommunications, shipbuilding, railways,
automobiles, textiles, fertilizers, cement, computer software and
hardware, electronics. Today, the world software industry heavily relies
on India for its well-being, and India has been very badly hit by the
crisis in the software industry.
the 1980s and especially from 1991, the inward-oriented strategy has been
gradually given up, as India has sought to speed up its growth rate,
enhance investments in infrastructure, and modernize its industrial,
technological, educational, and agricultural sectors.
is combined with a new international involvement in international affairs,
made possible by the end of the Cold War. The last era of our
international involvement, was largely focussed on moving away from the
Cold War, and keeping co-existence. Now, it's possible to build new
linkages with Europe, Japan, and the United States, which earlier had been
prevented. In this new situation, Indian policymakers have been deeply
divided over the issues of globalization, and what kinds of policies are
exactly beneficial for maintaining rapid economic growth.
has been the fastest growing economy outside East Asia through the past
two decades. It grew at 5.5% in the 1980s and 6.5% through the 1990s.
Unlike East Asia—which grew at very fast rates largely on the basis of
globalization, linked to integration into the global economy, and foreign
trade- and investment-led labor-intensive exports going to the U.S.
market—India has not had that integration. Until 1990, India's economy
was essentially internally led.
we have opened up, we find that the world economy is also going through a
critical stage. Therefore, it is of great significance that these new
ideas coincide with India's search for a globalization model: a model of
economic development in an increasingly integrated international system.
ideas of physical economy, of the Eurasian corridors, and restructuring
the international economic and financial institutions, are critically
important from our perspective. We have made repeated efforts in
international institutions, the IMF and so on, to come forward with
alternative views, of keeping alive global cooperation, and keeping a
different orientation from that normally supported by the IMF and World
national goal is to grow at 8-9% over the next 25 years, in order to
eliminate poverty, create enough jobs for a growing labor force,
reconstruct cities, and emerge as a global economic and political force.
In fact, much of the world's growth in the coming decades will depend on
the rapid modernization and expansion of the Indian and Chinese economies.
India is to attain its economic and political goals, it needs to develop
three key strategies. One, an internal strategy that will create large
agro-industrial bases throughout the country, interlinked through a
network of modern highways, railways and airways, and telecommunications.
It will also need large investments in power, ports, and education.
urgently needs an expansion of infrastructure, and the government is very
concerned about this. We are rapidly expanding a network of national
highways and railroads, and airports. This will integrate central India
into the coastal and other zones.
we will need an international strategy of technological, trade, and
investment ties with the advanced techno-industrial states—Europe, the
United States, Japan, and Russia—to accomplish modernization.
India will be heavily energy-import dependent, especially on the Gulf and
Central Asia. It is therefore concentrating on nuclear energy, as well as
developing thermal, hydro, and solar power internally, and externally to
develop access through pipelines to natural gas from Iran, Central Asia,
Bangladesh, Myanmar, and perhaps Indonesia. As we move towards an
integrated, globally oriented strategy, the ideals of building energy and
road and rail-network corridors, become extremely important for the
success of the Indian economy. To interlink energy routes and energy
supplies, with modern transportation corridors, this overall developmental
approach is a very important one.
Southeast Asia linkage, as well as the Iran linkage, are critically
important. The kind of Eurasian rail network being proposed, has three
dimensions. From our perspective, the southern Asian dimension is a vital
area, to link Southeast Asia to India, and then to Iran, and then move on
to Central Asia, Russia, and Europe. This will go through the bulk of the
population of Asia.
link to China is already a proposal: the Kunming to Calcutta route, to
link eastern India to southern China, via Bangladesh, Myanmar, and
Thailand. On the Indian side, this route already exists. We are building
some of the routes in Myanmar. The Chinese have also built up to Yunnan,
so it is possible, in the coming years, to complete this route.
rapid development of India is increasingly tied to a stable, secure, and
increasingly cooperative global and regional order. Creation of strategic
transportation and energy corridors in Eurasia and Southern Asia are of
immense significance to India. In terms of ideas, these at once address
the issues of peace, stability, economic, and security cooperation across
current efforts to create these corridors face significant obstacles:
political instability and conflict in regions such as the Talibanized
Afghanistan-Pakistan belt, that threaten to spread into Central Asia; the
lack of requisite backing from Europe and Japan; and absence of strong
ties among key Asian states—India, China, Iran, Indonesia.
is critically important in Asia, to build inter-state relations that move
away from conflicts, and to expend efforts to build confidence and
understanding. Nations must realize the necessity for such projects and
such cooperation, in order for their own states to survive: that it is in
their own self-interests, to build larger cooperative ventures and
political stabilization in this area. There are big problems: Indonesia is
going through a major crisis; Burma is not yet ready for many of these
efforts; the Gulf area internally remains in tensions; the
Pakistan-Afghanistan area has gone into absolutely backward civil war
conditions; and fundamentalist Islamic trends are of deep concern, and are
affecting India very badly.
there is a need for Europe, Japan, and the United States to support this
process. I am given to understand here, that the Maastricht process [in
Europe] and others, really are a problem, in terms of providing the kind
of state backing from Europe and elsewhere, which would make
low-[interest] credit-driven new ideas to fund this kind of infrastructure
construction. It is very important, that the U.S., Japan, and Europe, are
strongly committed to develop these kinds of new ideas, and move away from
the other globalization model.
can only take place, if these ideas win out in European governments, and
Germany, France, and other leading countries here, support and bring
forward, new, innovative ideas for funding and financing and providing
credits for these kinds of processes.
second element, is the global cooperative policymaking changes, in the
institutions of Europe, Japan, and the U.S., that can bring about this
large-scale structural change in the globalization model.
there is an absolutely important demand, for the countries of Asia, for
India and China, for Indonesia and Iran, and Russia and Japan, to work
together to build a more stable, peaceful Asia. What is needed is much
greater cooperation in terms of leadership exchanges, economic ideas, and
cooperative stability and security models, to bring this about.
is deeply interested in this. Its own proposals, for a united Asia, and an
Asian relations conference, go back to 1946. The Afro-Asian movement was
triggered in Delhi. These kinds of ideas have a great sympathy in India,
and we expect, as we move into our own development in the coming years, to
play an important role in bringing about, in cooperation with all of you,
the successful change in strategy in globalization.
is important, therefore, that key Eurasian countries focus on the
political, economic, security, and technological factors that would make
possible a unified developmental strategy. India has great interest in
such an outcome, and would play an active role in bringing this about.