The IUP Journal of International Relations
India's Role in the Indo-Pacific: Relocating Priorities in the 21st Century Geopolitics

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jan, 2024
Product Name : The IUP Journal of International Relations
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR030124
Author Name : Sachin N Pardhe
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 13



In contemporary international relations, the term 'Indo-Pacific' has started acquiring tremendous significance. The very conceptualization of Indo-Pacific is perceived from multiple vantage points, however, the geo-strategical dimension appears to be dominating. Almost all the major powers have started reorienting their policies towards the region. India has also welcomed the Indo-Pacific construct, as it opens up an array of opportunities by expanding India's sphere of interest to the Pacific. This renewed orientation of the new spatial construct inevitably compels India to relocate its priorities in terms of responding to the changing regional balance of power equations as well as addressing the plethora of traditional and non-traditional security concerns in the extended neighborhood. India, therefore, needs to opt for a more pragmatic approach to effectively engage in the region without jeopardizing its national interests.


The term 'Indo-Pacific' represents the confluence of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, thereby re-envisioning a new space in the world geography. Space occupies a central role in geopolitics, however, this spatial dimension of geopolitics is predominantly conceived in terms of territoriality and geographical claims, which tend to get manifested in cartographic imaginations. Geopolitics, in this sense, makes world politics more visual. This schematic rendering of geography contributes immensely to the policy formulation process by providing templates to locate the complexities of international relations. Although territorial space is inherent and inseparable from 'geo' in geopolitics, the very conceptualization of space may vary based on contextual rationality and utility. The Indo-Pacific construct comprehensively reconceptualizes the maritime space by uniting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The unification of these two water bodies inevitably implies the intermingling of the critical security interests of the various actors across the Indo-Pacific. It also indicates the acknowledgment of the existing complementarities with respect to trade and economic activities which are at the heart of this region. Indo-Pacific, therefore, acquires a vital position in contemporary global politics from both security and