Bargaining with a Rising India: Lessons from the Mahabharata

ISBN : 9780199698387

Amrita Narlikar; Aruna Narlikar
246 Pages
162 x 241 mm
Pub date
Mar 2014
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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.


1. Playing Hard Ball?: India in International Negotiations
2. India's Negotiation Strategy: The Heroism of Hard Bargaining?
3. Framing from a Moral High Horse
4. Coalitions: Choosing Allies, Sustaining Friendships
5. Time: The Long Shadow of the Past and the Future
6. Conclusion
Appendix A: The Story of the Mahabharata in brief
Appendix B: A Note of Explanation on the Sanskrit

About the author: 

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).

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