Our Time Has Come: How India Is Making Its Place in the World

Alyssa Ayres. Oxford Univ., $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-19-049452-0
“Now, it is India’s turn,” India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, proclaimed in 2015, adding “And we know our time has come.” Ayres (Speaking Like a State), the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asia, shares that optimism—with caveats—and her impeccably researched book chronicles India’s rise as an aspiring global power, though her suggested policies tend to rely too uncritically on neoliberal dogma, such as opposition to protectionism. The evidence she presents for Modi being right is certainly compelling: India is on track to become the world’s third-largest economy and most populous nation. India also maintains the world’s third-largest military, is a top troop contributor to UN peacekeeping missions, and possesses a world-class IT sector. Nevertheless, Ayres finds India’s economic progress to be tentative, hampered in her view by unions and an electorate dominated by conservative rural voters. Her uncritical support for globalism is evident throughout, and she never misses an opportunity to admonish the Indian government for making the nation less competitive with protectionist policies. Ayres observes that India’s habit of “self-reliance is perfectly understandable as an anticolonial strategy” but fits uneasily into today’s global economy. Her book presents a wonderfully detailed look at India today, albeit from an overly rigid proglobalist perspective. (Jan. 2018)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-19-005881-4
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