Shivani Yadav

Abstracts

3 Nuclear Resistance Movements: Case Study of India

Authors: Shivani Yadav

Abstract:

The paper illustrates dynamics of nuclear resistance movements in India and how peoples’ power rises in response to subversion of justice and suppression of human rights. The need for democratizing nuclear policy runs implicit through the demands of the people protesting against nuclear programmes. The paper analyses the rationale behind developing nuclear energy according to the mainstream development model adopted by the state. Whether the prevalent nuclear discourse includes people’s ambitions and addresses local concerns or not is discussed. Primarily, the nuclear movements across India comprise of two types of actors i.e. the local population as well as the urban interlocutors. The first type of actor is the local population comprising of the people who are residing in the vicinity of the nuclear site and are affected by its construction, presence and operation. They have very immediate concerns against nuclear energy projects but also have an ideological stand against producing nuclear energy. The other types of actors are the urban interlocutors, who are the intellectuals and nuclear activists who have a principled stand against nuclear energy and help to aggregate the aims and goals of the movement on various platforms. The paper focuses on the nuclear resistance movements at five sites in India- Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Haripur (West Bengal), Mithivirdi (Gujrat) and Gorakhpur (Haryana). The origin, development, role of major actors and mass media coverage of all these movements are discussed in depth. Major observations from the Indian case include: first, nuclear policy discussions in India are confined to elite circles; secondly, concepts like national security and national interest are used to suppress dissent against mainstream policies; and thirdly, India’s energy policies focus on economic concerns while ignoring the human implications of such policies. In conclusion, the paper observes that the anti-nuclear movements question not just the feasibility of nuclear power but also its exclusionary nature when it comes to people’s participation in policy making, endangering the ecology, violation of human rights, etc. The character of these protests is non-violent with an aim to produce more inclusive policy debates and democratic dialogues.

Keywords: Social Movements, anti-nuclear movements, Koodankulam nuclear power plant, non-violent resistance, nuclear resistance movements

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2 Soft Power in International Politics: Defense and Continued Relevance

Authors: Shivani Yadav

Abstract:

The paper will first elaborate on the concept of soft power as formulated by Joseph Nye, who argues that soft power is as important as hard power in international politics as it replaces coercion with non-coercive forms of co-optation and attraction. The central tenet of the paper is to extrapolate the continued relevance of soft power in international relations in the 21st century. It is argued that the relevance of soft power, in concurrence with hard power, is on the rise in the international system. This is found to be emanating out of two factors. First, the state-centric practice of international relations has expanded to allow other actors to participate in policymaking. This has led to the resources for power generation to become varied, largely move away from the control of governments, and to produce both hard and soft power attributes. Second, as the currency of coercive power seems to be devaluing in global politics, the role of intangible factors like soft power is getting more important in policymaking. The paper will then go on to elaborate on the critiques of the formulation of soft power from various perspectives, as well as the defenses to these critiques presented by soft power proponents. The paper will reflect on the continued relevance of soft power in international politics by giving the example of India, and how soft power has continued to serve its policy objectives over the years. It is observed that even as India is recognized as a rising superpower today, yet it has made a continuous effort in cultivating its soft power resources, which have proven to be its assets in furthering its foreign policy interests. In conclusion, the paper makes the point that soft power, in conjunction with hard power, will shape international politics in the coming times.

Keywords: International Politics, Foreign Policy, Smart Power, soft power, India’s soft power

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1 Examining Terrorism through a Constructivist Framework: Case Study of the Islamic State

Authors: Shivani Yadav

Abstract:

The Study of terrorism lends itself to the constructivist framework as constructivism focuses on the importance of ideas and norms in shaping interests and identities. Constructivism is pertinent to understand the phenomenon of a terrorist organization like the Islamic State (IS), which opportunistically utilizes radical ideas and norms to shape its ‘politics of identity’. This ‘identity’, which is at the helm of preferences and interests of actors, in turn, shapes actions. The paper argues that an effective counter-terrorism policy must recognize the importance of ideas in order to counter the threat arising from acts of radicalism and terrorism. Traditional theories of international relations, with an emphasis on state-centric security problematic, exhibit several limitations and problems in interpreting the phenomena of terrorism. With the changing global order, these theories have failed to adapt to the changing dimensions of terrorism, especially ‘newer’ actors like the Islamic State (IS). The paper observes that IS distinguishes itself from other terrorist organizations in the way that it recruits and spreads its propaganda. Not only are its methods different, but also its tools (like social media) are new. Traditionally, too, force alone has rarely been sufficient to counter terrorism, but it seems especially impossible to completely root out an organization like IS. Time is ripe to change the discourse around terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies. The counter-terrorism measures adopted by states, which primarily focus on mitigating threats to the national security of the state, are preoccupied with statist objectives of the continuance of state institutions and maintenance of order. This limitation prevents these theories from addressing the questions of justice and the ‘human’ aspects of ideas and identity. These counter-terrorism strategies adopt a problem-solving approach that attempts to treat the symptoms without diagnosing the disease. Hence, these restrictive strategies fail to look beyond calculated retaliation against violent actions in order to address the underlying causes of discontent pertaining to ‘why’ actors turn violent in the first place. What traditional theories also overlook is that overt acts of violence may have several causal factors behind them, some of which are rooted in the structural state system. Exploring these root causes through the constructivist framework helps to decipher the process of ‘construction of terror’ and to move beyond the ‘what’ in theorization in order to describe ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ terrorism occurs. Study of terrorism would much benefit from a constructivist analysis in order to explore non-military options while countering the ideology propagated by the IS.

Keywords: constructivism, Counter terrorism, Islamic State, politics of identity

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