India’s Soft Power: From Potential to Reality?


Over the last decade, many scholars and analysts have tried to assess India’s emergence as a major actor in the global arena by looking at such material indicators as economic growth, military expansion or demographic evolution. As a consequence, these accounts have mainly overlooked New Delhi’s increased emphasis on developing its ‘soft power’ credentials by using the attractiveness of Indian culture, values and policies. Indian diplomats like Sashi Tharoor have recently argued that if India is now perceived as a superpower, it was not just through trade and politics but also through its ability to share its culture with the world through food, music, technology and Bollywood. However, it is difficult to determine India’s actual soft power resources, or which of these resources have actually helped strengthen India’s global status. With such a difficult concept to define and measure, is it possible to monitor the evolution of India’s soft power over the last decade? Most saliently, can we compare India’s efforts with those of another emerging Asian power, China?

Post description:

  • Publication year: 2012
  • Content type: Journal Article
  • Form of cooperation: Comprehensive (lines of credit, grants and loans).
  • Cooperation context: Multilateral
  • Region (country): Africa, Aghanistan, Caribbean
  • Sector: Multisectoral
  • Institution (publication): LSE Research Online
  • Author: Nicolas Blarel
  • Keywords: Soft power, South-South Cooperation
  • Link: