Rudra Chaudhuri

Director
Carnegie India
Rudra Chaudhuri is the director of Carnegie India. His primary research interests include the diplomatic history of South Asia and contemporary security issues.
Education

PhD, King’s College London
MA, University of Exeter, UK
BA, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University

Languages
  • Bengali
  • English
  • Hindi
Contact Information

Rudra Chaudhuri is the director of Carnegie India. His primary research focuses on the diplomatic history of South Asia and contemporary security issues. He is currently writing a book on the global history of the Indian Emergency, 1975-1977. At present, he is also heading a major research project that involves mapping and analyzing violent incidents and infrastructural development on and across India’s borders.

He is the author of Forged in Crisis: India and the United States Since 1947 (published in the U.K. by Hurst, in 2013, and in the U.S. and South Asia by Oxford University Press and Harper Collins, respectively, in 2014). His research has been published in scholarly journals such as International History Review, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Journal of Strategic Studies, International Affairs, the RUSI Journal, Defense Studies, and other academic and policy-focused journals. He is an occasional commentator in the media.

He is a senior lecturer at the Department of War Studies and the India Institute at King’s College London (currently on research leave). In addition, he is the founding director of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Diplomatic Academy for South Asia. He is also a visiting professor of international relations at Ashoka University, New Delhi. He previously taught at the U.K. Joint Services Command and Staff College. He holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London.

    • Book

    Forged in Crisis: India and United States Since 1947

    • 2014
    • Oxford University Press and Harper Collins

    Forged in Crisis looks at a series of crises that had far-reaching effects on the bilateral relationship between India and the United States. The book details the historical contours of the relationship, while providing a fresh perspective on the foreign policies undertaken by various Indian administrations, namely those of Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Manmohan Singh. The book prompts a re-evaluation India’s foreign policy record, particularly non-alignment.

    Reviews

    “A meticulously researched [and] compelling study . . . This lucid and persuasive book offers a nuanced guide to the tortuous course of relations between two great democracies - which are unlikely to become more predictable or straightforward any time soon.”
    The Financial Times

    “This is the best book on India-U.S. relations in the last twenty years, by a wide margin. It is incomparable in its probing, sensitive analysis, elegant writing, exhaustiveness, and the minute, archival-based empirical rendering of key episodes and periods.”
    —Kanti Bajpai, Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, and Wilmar Professor of Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

    “This new book on U.S.—India relations dispels both the myth of India as victim and the idea of volatility, suggesting instead a remarkable consistency in India’s determination since independence in 1947 to defend its own interests and its approach to the United States. In Forged in Crisis, Rudra Chaudhuri argues that India has always been willing to mix idealism with expediency—or, in his words, “ideas and interests”—to gain economic and military help from the United States without sacrificing its independence.”
    —Myra MacDonald, War on the Rocks

    “[A] masterly survey of Indo-US relations that is authoritative yet accessible. Chaudhuri joins a small club of Indian writers such as Ramachandra Guha who are as adept at dipping into the memoirs of leading figures of the time as combing archives of newspapers to paint a Fauvist picture of a complex and more than occasionally combative relationship.”
    Business Standard

    Forged in Crisis is a compelling reappraisal of India’s relationship with the United States. Rudra Chaudhuri superbly traces the evolution of India’s doctrine of non-alignment over six decades, and his conclusion is stark: ‘India will never be an ally of the US’. As his brilliant chapter on India’s deliberation over the Iraq War shows, the implications for world politics are considerable.”
    —Shashank Joshi, Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute

    “This eagerly awaited study more than delivers on its promise…this is a book which will provoke much more argument about the history of the relationship [between India and the USA] and its present condition for some time to come…it is essential reading for anyone interested in India’s foreign relations.”
    —Ian Hall, author of Dilemmas of Decline: British Intellectuals and World Politics, 1945-75

    Forged in Crisis cannot be seen as yet another addition to the long list of books on India and the United States. Rather here is a scholarly attempt to reveal what really took place between the two democracies.”
    The Hindu

    “Chaudhuri’s research on written sources is prodigious, his list of interviews impressive, and his command of Indian foreign policy masterful…This is an important book about India’s foreign policy.”
    —Teresita C. Schaffer, Survival

    Forged in Crisis makes an important contribution in advancing our understanding of the sources that have shaped the trajectory of the US-India relationship. Combing both historical and contemporary episodes in US-India bilateral ties, it provides a thorough re-evaluation of non-alignment and its consequences. … Forged in Crisis is an excellent study of the changing contours of India’s policy towards the USA and will help to shape the debate on this critical foreign policy choice facing India in the coming years.”
    Asian Affairs

    “Rudra Chaudhuri has challenged the conventional and simplistic narrative of India-U.S. relations, putting it within a frame that explores both ideational as well as realpolitik drivers. The result is a much richer, more nuanced and more illuminating analysis that will be of great value to scholars, historians and diplomatic practitioners alike.”
    —Shyam Saran, former foreign secretary, Government of India

    • Article

    The Making of an ‘All Weather Friendship’: Pakistan, China, and the History of a Border Agreement: 1949–1963

    • March 6, 2017
    • International History Review

    The article offers an insight into what led to the making of the ‘all weather friendship’. It argues that whilst the 1963 agreement was a turning point, the Pakistani establishment—military and civilian—sought to engage China since 1949. | REVIEW

    • Article

    Indian “Strategic Restraint” Revisited: The Case of the 1965 India-Pakistan War

    • March 29, 2018
    • India Review

    Political scientists and analysts have long argued that Indian strategic restraint is informed primarily by Indian political leaders’ aversion to the use of force. This article contests what it considers to be a reductionist position on strategic restraint, using the case of the 1965 India Pakistan War.

    • Chapter

    Arms and Assistance in South Asia 1953 to 1965: Why Racing Explains Little

    • March 14, 2016
    • Arms Races in International Politics

    This chapter argues that the military competition between India and Pakistan can best be understood as arising from the friction caused by the partition of Kashmir. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it argues that an arms race alone cannot be said to have led to the outbreak of war in 1965.

    • Chapter

    The Parliament

    • September 23, 2015
    • The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy

    The chapter looks at the role of the Indian Parliament in the domain of foreign policy. Contrary to popular accounts, it argues that Indian prime ministers have found themselves more vulnerable than otherwise accepted to the push and pull tensions of parliamentary oversight. .

    • Article

    Campaign Disconnect: Operational Progress and Strategic Obstacles in Afghanistan, 2009-2011

    • March 17, 2011
    • International Affairs

    Although significant progress has been made at the operational level, the situation is bleak at the strategic level in Afghanistan. The article identifies three strategic obstacles to campaign success: corruption in the Afghan national government, war‐weariness in NATO countries, and insurgent safe havens in Pakistan.

    • Chapter

    India

    • July 24, 2015
    • The Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies

    The chapter introduces Indian intelligence since 1947. The first part of the chapter looks at the history and structure of Indian intelligence agencies during the Cold War. The second part examines their evolution since the fall of the Soviet Union, by focusing on key crises.

    • Article

    The Limits of Executive Power: Domestic Politics and Alliance Behavior in Nehru's India

    • May 4, 2012
    • India Review

    The article explores the extent to which Indian domestic debates shapes strategic behavior. It argues that domestic politics and, more importantly, the role played by domestic elites—from within the ruling party and the opposition—have historically set limits on the exercise of executive power.

    • Article

    Why Culture Matters: Revisiting the Sino-Indian Border War of 1962

    • December 17, 2009
    • Journal of Strategic Studies

    Strategic historians have argued that the Indian appeal for U.S. military assistance during the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 led to the abandonment of India's foreign policy of non-alignment. By asking for military assistance, India entered into an alliance with the United States. This article counters those claims.

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