Bargaining with a Rising India: Lessons from the Mahabharata

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9780199698387: Bargaining with a Rising India: Lessons from the Mahabharata


The need to negotiate effectively with India is only growing as its power rises. Understanding the negotiating culture wherein India's bargaining behaviour is embedded forms a crucial step to facilitate this process. In the literature on international negotiation, experimental studies point to specific behavioural characteristics of Indian negotiators. Empirical analyses confirm these findings, and many suggest that the sources of India's negotiation behaviour are deep-rooted and culture-specific, going beyond what standard explanations of interest group politics, partisan politics, or institutional politics would suggest. But there are very few works that trace these sources. Extensive sociological and anthropological, and comparative political studies remain confined to their own fields, and do not develop their implications for Indian foreign policy or negotiation. There is a conspicuous lack of works that attempt to unpack the "negotiating culture" variable using literary sources. This book aims to fill both these gaps. It focuses on India's negotiating traditions through the lens of the classical Sanskrit text, the Mahabharata, and investigates the continuities and changes in India's negotiation behaviour as a rising power.

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About the Author:


Amrita Narlikar, Reader in International Political Economy; Director, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge; Centre for Rising Powers, University of Cambridge,Aruna Narlikar, Columnist and Freelance Journalist,

Dr Amrita Narlikar is Reader in International Political Economy at the Department of Politics and International Studies, and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers, University of Cambridge. She is also an Official Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge. Her most recent works include a single-authored book, New Powers: How to Become One and How to Manage Them, London: Hurst and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, and (co-edited with Martin Daunton and Robert Stern) The Oxford Handbook on the World Trade Organization, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. She recently guest-edited a special issue of the Chatham House journal International Affairs on Negotiating the Rise of New Powers, 89: 2, May 2013.
Dr Aruna Narlikar holds a doctoral degree in Indian Writing in English and has cultivated a long-standing expertise in Sanskrit, particularly the Mahabharata. She has worked as a columnist and freelance journalist in the top Indian broadsheets in English, including The Times of India and The Hindustan Times, and also writes frequently for the vernacular press in Marathi. She has experience of over ten years in anchoring programs on Indian culture on national Indian television and has also translated books for the National Indian Academy for Literature (Sahitya Akademi).

Review:


"All of us outside India need better understandings of its policies and their drivers. This rare, creative book helps by viewing the classical Sanskrit epic partly through lenses from recent negotiation analysis. A corrective to western-centric scholarship, the book makes a remarkably original contribution to the tradition that traces negotiation behavior to national cultures. The authors' lessons are relevant for today's international negotiations." --John Odell, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, University of Southern California


"National cultures and international bargaining behavior are too often linked using stereotypes and anecdotes. Narlikar and Narlikar offer for the first time a comprehensive and convincing view of the traditional negotiating culture of one rising power, India, and the effects of that culture on contemporary international negotiations." --Miles Kahler, University of California, San Diego


"This study fills a major gap both for scholars and for policymakers by placing Indian diplomacy in a cultural context and provides a new understanding of how India's classical traditions continue to influence Indian's bargaining positions and negotiating strategies." --Gareth Price, Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House


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