It has been twenty five years since George Tanham asserted that India lacked a strategic culture, and that the “predominantly defensive” orientation of her elites was the product not of careful deliberation but rather of her geography, culture, and history. Tanham’s charge has never been fully addressed, until now. In a forthcoming three-volume Reader, Dr. Rahul Sagar brings to light historical evidence that should put Tanham’s contention to rest. This evidence, the product of a decade of archival research, takes the form of essays drawn from more than a hundred periodicals that were influential in their day but are now rare or forgotten. These essays offer an unprecedented overview of how deeply India’s elite have thought about matters of war and peace, diplomacy and security. The speaker will be presenting material from the first volume entitled Nations on the March, which covers the nineteenth century.
About the Speaker
Rahul Sagar is Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science at NYU Abu Dhabi. He was previously Associate Professor of Political Science at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and prior to that Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University. His first book Secrets and Leaks received a number of awards including the National Academy of Public Administration’s 2014 Louis Brownlow Award. His work has also appeared in The Journal of Politics, Ethics and International Affairs, Polity, and India Review. He is currently writing a book on the intellectual foundations of Indian grand strategy. Sagar received his PhD in Government from Harvard University, and his BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford University.