India: Great Power by Cooptation?
With a growth rate of eight percent India is regarded as one of the main engines of the world economy besides China. This development has also changed India’s position in the international system. In the early 1990s, India was regarded to be one of the “losers” after the end of the Cold War. In contrast to this, India is perceived today as a next great power in the international system. The Indo-US nuclear agreement of March 2006 has de facto recognised India’s nuclear programme. The EU-India strategic partnership agreement of 2004 strengthened the economic, political, and technological relations between the two. The status of great powers is traditionally determined by their military capabilities and their ability to win wars. The international system that emerged after the second World War reflected this constellation. But the institutional framework of the United Nations and the Non-Proliferation Regime that defined great power status does not allow the inclusion of India. Despite of her status ambitions, India does neither have the political will nor the capacities to challenge the existing international order. India’s rise can therefore be explained by a process of cooptation that is based on the growing convergence of ideas, interests and institutional linkages between India and the group of great powers. This process has intensified bi- and multilateral relations between India and the group of great powers and brought India closer to the club. India can therefore be regarded as a great power by cooptation.