Differentiated Citizenship: Multiculturalism, Secularism and India's Foreign Policy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The Nehruvian policies propagated upon India’s independence envisaged no place for religion in political mobilization. Still, religion has continued to affect and influence Indian politics, even as India has become progressively affected by processes of liberalization and globalization. The particular politics of Indian secularism was based on keeping a distance from matters of faith and custom. However, in practice it has often translated into political interference in religious affairs, and vice versa. This chapter investigates some of the consequences of these strains in the secular consensus and the shrinking space for state adjustment in terms of the relationship between Hindu nationalist policies and Indian foreign policy. Outlining four narrative dimensions of this relationship, the chapter explores: 1) the relationship between policies at home and images abroad; 2) the entwinement of foreign policy and national identity; 3) the extent to which ‘Hinduness’ rather than ‘Indianness’ has acted as a guide for foreign policy; and 4) the ways in which the capitalization of unease, fear and resentment - so-called emotional governance - have impacted on the formation of foreign policy.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Interface of Domestic and International Factors in India’s Foreign Policy
EditorsJohannes Dragsbæk Schmidt, Shantanu Chakrabarti
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781003122302
ISBN (Print)9780367641320
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch