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Title: The power to persuade? : U.S. foreign policy towards Indian non-alignment, 1947-1957
Author: Dix, J. M.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis is a detailed historical reconstruction and analysis of official American attitudes and policies towards Indian non-alignment between 1947 and 1957, explaining policy development and change in the broader context of the Cold War. This case study highlights the shortcomings of certain popular images of the period, namely the bipolar model and the perception of the US as a powerful, persuasive state able to manipulate others, especially much weaker countries. After ten years of trying to persuade India to become an ally, Washington realised that not only was this impossible, but also not even in American interests. American policy-makers faced major problems with Indian non-alignment during this period. First, India's very public position on US-Soviet hostility as traditional great power rivalry undermined American attempts to establish and maintain the free world's unity. Second, whilst the Truman administration recognised the Cold War's complexities, Truman's bipolar rhetoric restricted US flexibility on policy regarding Indian non-alignment. Thus, the US adopted a negative stance on Indian foreign policy and tried to align India with the West and draw it into regional collective defence measures. However, as the Cold War developed Truman found India had a very useful role to play precisely because it was non-aligned, especially during the Korean War when India acted as a channel of communication between the US and the People's Republic of China. Eisenhower faced similar problems with India, especially regarding collective defence, and at first he was hostile towards Indian non-alignment. However, he decided that it was America's policy that had to change, not India's. Gradually he moved attitudes from intolerance to acceptance, realising that the US should take full advantage of non-alignment. By 1957 Eisenhower looked upon non-alignment as a constructive position in world politics, and as a result US-Indian relations entered a new, positive phase.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available