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[Lecture] Shashi Tharoor: Pax Indica – India in the World of the 21st Century


An expression like “Pax Indica” is often immediately, and seemingly naturally, misconstrued to mean world domination, as in the familiar “Pax Romana” or “Pax Britannica”. What Dr Tharoor means by the term, however, is the critical role India has to play in what has become a cooperative networked system in our multi-polar world. The idea of “Pax Indica”, is not about India as a future “world leader” or even as “the next superpower”, which is a status assorted commentators claim it is heading irresistibly towards in the near future. Instead “Pax Indica”, in his conception, is about India’s role in shaping the emerging global “network”, which is really what will define international relations and world politics in the 21st century. In this lecture he will explain what it means to be a rising economic and political power in the post Cold War age, where the architecture and landscape of the world are ever changing, and nation states like India must not only embrace such change but actively determine its future design and direction.

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An author, politician, and former international civil servant, Dr. Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience. Currently a second-term Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade long prior career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan’s leadership of the organisation. Dr. Tharoor is also an award-winning author of fifteen books of both fiction as well as non-fiction.

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