Dr Namrata Goswami – Guest Editorial
A Challenge to International Studies
to Make its Theories and Concepts Truly ‘International’

Goswami profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Magazine Volume Two December 2020

Scramble for the skies by Dr Namrata GoswamiDr. Namrata Goswami is an independent scholar on space policy, great power politics, and ethnic conflicts. She was Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, a visiting Fellow at Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway; La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; and University of Heidelberg, Germany.  In 2012, she worked as Jennings-Randolph Senior Fellow at United States Institute of Peace, Washington D.C. and was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Fellowship that same year. In 2016-2017, she was awarded the MINERVA grant awarded by the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to study great power competition in outer space. Her book on The Naga Ethnic Movement for a Separate Homeland Stories from the Field, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2020. Her co-authored book on Scramble for the Skies: The Great Power Competition to Control the Resources of Outer Space was published October 2020 by Lexington Press, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield. She is currently working on an academic book project on China’s Grand Strategy and Notions of Territoriality. She has published widely to include in The Diplomat, the Economic Times, the Hindu, The Washington Post, Ad Astra, Asia Policy, Live Encounters Magazine, Cairo Review.

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Scramble for the Skies by Namrata Goswami and Peter A. Garrestson:  https://rowman.com/

Stone base relief depicting a scene from the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photograph by Mark Ulyseas.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photograph by Mark Ulyseas.

As I approach my 21st anniversary of studying International Relations (IR) and Security, I get the uncomfortable feeling that IR concepts and theories, and the statistically neat models, are mostly aimed at those scholars who are already sold to these concepts and methods, to the exclusion of those who do not necessarily find them useful to explain international politics. In the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, 2019 held in Toronto (Canada) I presented a paper with the same title as above, addressing key questions asked by the organizers: ‘how can we communicate our theories and findings beyond scholars who share our approaches and methods?’; and ‘are there more integrative and inclusive ontological and epistemological possibilities that do not compromise diversity?”.[1] While such questions were/are timely, IR as a discipline will not progress much if we continue to utilize the same old concepts, models and theories, drawn heavily from Western academia to study progress, human emancipation, conflict, change and innovation. This article offers perspectives coming from a multiplicity of sources [to include African sociology, South Asian history, Southeast Asian IR and policy, West Asian politics and culture, and European history], to fill the gap on a discipline that argues for multidisciplinary approaches and conceptual diversity, yet whose language and concepts are not truly inclusive.

At the outset, let me explain the meaning of ontology, drawn from the Latin word (ontologia), to mean the science of being. This term was popularized by German rationalist philosopher, Christopher Wolf, in his book, Philosophia Prima sive Ontologia (1730; “First Philosophy or Ontology”).[2] Kant argued that Wolf’s method was premised on “the regular ascertainment of principles, the clear determination of concepts, the attempt at strictness in proofs, and the prevention of audacious leaps in inferences.”[3] Epistemology is defined as how do we know, what we know. This concept determines the nature of knowledge, critically, what does it mean when we assume that someone knows something. Epistemology deals with “the extent of human knowledge; that is, how much do we, or can we, know? How can we use our reason, our senses, the testimony of others, and other resources to acquire knowledge? Are there limits to what we can know? For instance, are some things unknowable? Is it possible that we do not know nearly as much as we think we do?”[4]

The critical problem with the field of international relations and studies as I know it, is that concepts that dominate (what is, and how we know what is) through theories like Realism,[5] Marxism,[6] Neo-Classical Realism,[7] Critical Theory,[8] Liberalism,[9] Constructivism,[10] Post-Modernism,[11] are based on ideas originated in their modern form in academic circles that trace their affiliations in the West.[12] This ethno-centric approach is then passed off as universal, instead of being offered as the North American area studies field or British or German, or French International relations. Stephan Walt vindicates my point by asserting that scholars outside of the Anglo-Saxon world are not offering big ideas or thinking on international relations, by which he means Great Power behavior, and hence, in this endeavor, U.S. centric authors dominate.

I was discussing this issue with a colleague in D.C. the other day, and he argued that one reason was the simple fact that there were hardly any world-class foreign policy intellectuals outside the Anglo-Saxon world. He wasn’t saying that there weren’t smart people writing on world affairs in other countries; his point was that there are very few people writing on foreign affairs outside North America or Britain whose works become the object of global attention and debate.[13]

By global attention, Walt and his colleague perhaps meant those that did get attention in the U.S., U.K. or Canadian academic circles to merit world class status. At least, that’s what I understood from his concluding statement: “put these two reasons together, and it’s not surprising that the IR field is still dominated by scholars from the Anglo-Saxon world (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada)”.[14] And what are those two reasons Walt specifies, that merit attention. First, that Great Powers spent a lot of their time thinking about global issues, and what they do catches world attention, and by extension, what scholars from Great Powers write or say in public ‘triggers cross-national debates’.  This first notion, he draws from Stanley Hoffman’s article on a similar topic[15]. Second, because the U.S., U.K, and Canada have competitive academic institutions, they generate world class scholars. As for the countries beyond the three, Walt asserts, “You might have first-class mathematicians or doctors or engineers in such a society, but you aren’t going to generate many (any?) world-class social scientists”.[16] Why? Because, the U.S. alone has thousands of colleges and universities, which ensures that no single intellectual paradigm dominates any field of study.[17] And by big thinking and big ideas, which Walt faults the world outside of the Anglo-Saxon world as lacking, implies, “And by “big thinking” I mean ideas and arguments that immediately trigger debates that cross-national boundaries, and become key elements in a global conversation”.[18]

Yet big thinking and big ideas animate the world outside of the U.S, U.K. and Canada. Take for example, big ideas like non-alignment as an instrument of global studies,[19] Indonesia’s Pancasila-or the five principles of peaceful co-existence, Chinese concepts of ‘what is a major power’,[20] or their Belt and Road initiative.[21] These ideas animated a large part of the globe, triggered a heated debate and crossed national boundaries, fitting well within Walt’s definition of big thinking. To be fair, Walt does throw in a few names, of scholars, he thinks have contributed to international relations, from outside the Anglo-Saxon world, like Ole Weaver, Kanti Bajpai, Thomas Risse. However, please notice the absence of any Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Ghanaian, Nigerian, or Russian scholar in this mix.[22]

This brings me to my central thesis.

Most scholarship that originates in Asia, Africa, or Middle-east is posited within the already existing frames of reference (European/American based) who act as gatekeepers on which ideas fit in and which don’t. These stringent gate-keeping forces academics to either locate their own scholarship within that Western field of generalizable knowledge or be relegated to the domain of area studies. I had this unique experience in an International Studies Association Annual Conference a few years back, in which I offered a general theory of insurgency and counter-insurgency utilizing insights from Kautilya and Gandhi. Instead of my paper finding its place in a panel that debated on general theories of insurgencies, some of which used insights from French military officer, David Galula,[23] and Jomini,[24] or from British officer, Robert Thompson’s Defeating Communist Insurgency,[25] my paper made it to a panel on India, where papers were mostly focused on India’s nuclear weapons and foreign policy. It dawned on me suddenly as I was navigating the difficult task of being relevant in this panel, that I had been assigned to the ‘area studies realm’ of South Asia. Whereas, my paper utilized Kautilya’s Arthasashtra (a general treatise on statecraft)[26] that offered abstract stratagems across time and space and had no reference to any Indian kingdom.[27] As George Modelski, writing in the American Political Science Review specifies:

Kautilya’s Arthasastra is, above all, a manual of statecraft, a collection of rules which a king or administrator would be wise to follow if he wishes to acquire and maintain power. In inspiration it is therefore close to other digests of rules of statecraft and of advice to princes such as Sun Tzu’s work on The Art of War or Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince… Today’s students of international relations, ever sensitive to the criticism that their work lacks “historical illustrations” or “empirical concreteness” should be delighted with Kautilya’s complete lack of historical sense… A work of learning must detach itself from its immediate milieu if it is to endure for long. Kautilya achieved this not only by avoiding historical references, but also by making his work remarkably abstract. Indeed the strength and the interest of the Arthasastra lie in its abstractness and in the systematic quality of its propositions.[28]

My paper also utilized Gandhi’s ideas on ‘Conflict Transformation’ which again were abstract theorizing on how to achieve that, and did not refer to any specific instances in South Africa or India.[29] Imagine a situation where a paper that utilized Machiavelli’s insights limited to a panel on Italy, or Clausewitz being relegated to a panel on Prussia or Galula to a panel on France or Johan Galtung to a panel on Norway, or Jiurgen Habermas to a panel on Germany. Interesting thought experiment that, isn’t it? So why is it that scholarships based on an African, Asian, or Middle-eastern thinker offering abstract ideas and concepts, very rarely make it to a panel on theoretical concepts like Realism, Neo-realism, Liberalism or even Constructivism. I cannot simply buy the argument that such scholarship does not exist. It does.[30]

The central point I make here is that the field of international relations is dominated by European history and concepts. The mainstream discourses to include Marxism, Liberalism, Post-modernism, Realism, Critical Theory are conceptualized in universities in the West. All then that is left for scholarships from Asia or Africa or Middleeast is to be transferred to the ‘domain of area studies’ including those papers that offer interesting generalizations. We simply must fit in, to the academic powers that be. Having an Asian or African scholar that has perfected Western concepts as a representative of diversity, does not change my central claim. This is not about ethnic diversity, for example, an Indian scholar from Assam, Northeast India presenting papers on Realism, as offering up a diversified experience and inclusivity. This is about whether IR concepts themselves are diversified and truly based on a general experience; a reflection of western and eastern thinking on IR or a blend of both.

This critique is not something new,[31] and has been often highlighted by several scholars, to include David Kang. In an article published in International Security, titled “Getting Asia Wrong: The Need for New Analytical Frameworks”, Kang specified:

because Europe was so important for so long a period, in seeking to understand international relations, scholars have often simply deployed concepts, theories and experiences derived from the European experience to project onto and explain Asia…western analysts have predicted dire scenarios for Asia, whereas many Asian experts have expressed growing optimism about the region’s future…this is not to criticize European-derived theories purely because they are based on the Western experience: The origins of a theory are not necessarily relevant to its applicability. Rather these theories do a poor job as they are applied to Asia.[32]

Let’s revert back to Wolf’s method, which as Kant specified was premised on “the regular ascertainment of principles, the clear determination of concepts, the attempt at strictness in proofs, and the prevention of audacious leaps in inferences”.[33]

To an African or Assamese scholar from India, audacious leaps of imagination are an integral part of how our societies were formed. The Nagas from India, for instance, believe in their oral folktales that their tribes travelled from somewhere near the seas, and gathered in a place called Makhel (present day Nagaland in India) and then dispersed.[34] “The hypothesis that the Nagas must have come from the seacoast or at least seen some Islands or the seas is strengthened by the life-style of the Nagas and the ornaments being used till today in many Naga villages…Their fondness of Cowries shells for beautifying the dress, and use of Conch shells as ornaments (precious ornaments for them). Nagas have customs very similar to those living in the remote parts of Borneo, Sarawak, Indonesia, Malaysia etc. indicating that their ancient abode was near the sea, if not in some islands”.[35] However, Naga oral traditions were the only source and there were simply no written records. So, how do we know, what we know, based on that source. British anthropologists and colonial administration passed these stories off as folktales and myths,[36] whereas for the Naga societies, this was a realistic retelling of their history and formed an important part of who they were as an ethnic community.

Based on the above, the problem I have with the assertion about ontology or the science of being is that, is it really a science? Not many things in the social world can be proven with such preciseness; for instance, while the existence of the ‘mouse’ that you use as part of your computer can be easily proven, how do you prove love or hate, or intentions, or any other such human feelings and emotions. An interesting perspective is offered by Lee M. Brown in his essay, “Understanding and Ontology in Traditional African Thought”.[37] Brown argues that “ontological commitments within modern Western culture are no less problematic than those within traditional African cultures. Each posits unobservable entities to explain the experiential world, and neither has ready access to those posits held as grounding or as otherwise determining what is experienced”.[38] Sometimes, I have found myself assuming human emotions based on my own observable life and being, and of others in a structured orderly way, to be completely proven wrong. The idea of ontology or Wolf’s assertion gives one the impressions that human life or even the state as a ‘socially constructed entity’, can be observed by using mathematical principles. But as Michal Walzer asserted in his book, Just and Unjust Wars, that while the idea of proportionality in war (jus ad bellum-Right Conduct in War) gives one the impression that there is a precise mathematical calculation on what is proportionate, nothing can be further from the truth.[39] While to an extent statistically driven models have proven useful (polls, military balances, conflict datasets),[40] consequently, in a larger number of cases, for instance, how Iraqis would greet the 2003 U.S. intervention as liberators, as the neo-conservatives asserted[41] have proven to be completely false.

Interestingly, while western ontology and epistemology only considers the historicity of an idea, as knowing something essential about statecraft (unit of analysis: actual historical states) in Eastern thinking, mythology and folk stories are as important in forming ‘belief systems’ as is actual state behavior.[42] As Louise Fawcett argues, sometimes Western binary levels of analysis as strong or weak states, good or bad governance, misses a lot of complexity in attempts to offer a simplistic view of reality based on rational choice. This is true when one analyses the so-called concept of Arab spring, that ushered the false hope of democratic orderly states to follow the end of centralized authoritarian rule. Instead, what we experienced were “the subsequent failure to install new, more legitimate and inclusive governments exposed the systemic fragility of the state–society contract leading, in some cases, to anarchy or the return to a kind of pre-state model, with authority divided between different regional, ethnic, tribal and religious groups, some aided by external powers”.[43] Fawcett cautions that despite that, one cannot assume that there is state failure or that the state system in the Middle-east is weak just because it does not fit the idea of a Western modern and developed state. Moreover, Arab states are too diverse to fit into any generalization schema.

As scholars of developing countries frequently remind us, we should beware the pitfalls of generalizing theory and of its crude application to any given regional environment.20 Calling states ‘failed’ could be self-fulfilling if the definitions favour the strong and disempower the weak state. States such as Venezuela today are labelled ‘failing’, perhaps to justify the view that intervention by the international community to fix its sovereignty deficits might, at some point, become justified…just as the discussion of state failure is not new, nor is the argument that the Middle East system itself is endangered…scholars and media pundits have regularly predicted and speculated about the demise of this configuration. The same holds true for other regions, such as Africa and south Asia, where borders have been imposed by former colonial powers, even where such imposed borders have become robust.[44]

Does international relations and security account for such mythology that is part of state creation in Middle-eastern, or eastern or African understanding of statecraft. Or that ethnicity, morality, statecraft, to include stratagem to win battles can be imbibed from lessons found in mythological epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata in India,[45] or African literary works, especially their oral traditions and folk stories that are popular in such societies.[46] In African societies, myths played a critical role, as defined by Jones M. Jaja from Nigeria, “Myths are man-made stories that play explanatory functions in the African understanding of reality… It can be argued that some myths represent complex logical systems which are different from those which are usually found in contemporary western societies.”.[47] Myths could be a direct expression of reality. I suspected this when I read the stories of the Mahabharat, the Ramayana and the Panchatantra in India, as a child and then as an adult. The authors of these complex stories of statecraft utilized myths, stories and imagination to make simpler socio-economic and political systems, and explain the various complexities of human nature: order, justice, good, evil, moral, amoral, power, strategy, statecraft, concepts of war, relationship between ruler and ruled, notions of a just king, and what constitutes a normative political order. Similarly, as Jaja argues, myths are seen as illogical and irrational in Western analytical framework, and cannot be even termed as philosophy; a search for the logical and the rational. Myths are therefore seen as super-national explanations of the world that cannot have any philosophical generalizations, and hence rejected as part of an evidence based analytical approach. However, that rejection misses the whole picture of how African societies might view life and by extension state and societal relations.

Generally, myths contain three kinds of stories namely, stories of origin, explanatory stories and didactic stories. Each of these stories is meant to explain a particular phenomenon. Myth is not an intellectual explanation or an artistic imagery but living chronicles in the minds of Africans. They contain and express the history, the culture and the inner experience of the African himself. Africans use myths to explain how things came to be through the efforts of a supernatural being. It is concrete and expresses life better than abstract thought can do. It is indeed surprising that up till this age (2011), some scholars still doubt the existence of African philosophy. The reason being that some philosophers having basically studied Western philosophy treated African philosophy from a typical western standpoint. It is necessary to remind this class of scholars that in traditional Africa there are individuals who are capable of critical coherent and independent thinking.[48]

This perspective is supported by Stephen Belcher who argues “The paucity of written records has been grounds for dismissal of the notion of African history—most notoriously in the case of Hegel, who in ignorance wrote off the home of the human species—and more recently a cause of pride among African intellectuals who have asserted the value of the oral tradition in the face of skepticism rooted in prejudice and too often in overt racism”.[49] In Africa, the usage of oral traditions, very similar to remote areas of India (Assam, Nagaland, Manipur), where I come from, are the key to understanding pre-colonial history, of who or what kind of societies and state structures evolved over centuries, as well as offer explanations of the uniqueness of cultures and traditions, that survive the colonial period.

I must clarify that I am not saying that International Relations theories like Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism are not useful. I am neither saying that statistically derived models should not be attempted, or that they have no relevance. Quite the contrary. They have their own usefulness, as I have mentioned before, to include election studies, exit polls, military balances, levels of conflict datasets, economic data, etc. However, my article shows how these theories have used empirical evidence based on European history, dominated by the World Wars, the Cold War, and the British colonial experience. Therefore, even the field of studies called pre-colonial and post-colonial, are based on the colonial experience as the main point of departure. My article highlights power politics, cultural insights, original foreign policy constructs, for example, offered by a country in Southeast Asia (Indonesia), to then make the point that somehow those concepts never make it to the general theory of state behavior,[50] or that their insights are used to study international relations theory. Instead, I can imagine a forthcoming paper on ‘Pancasila” being relegated to Southeast Asia area studies or a panel on ASEAN whereas Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen points are viewed as a universal construct.[51] Perhaps, I understand why. Woodrow Wilson offered those points as a negotiating framework at the end of the First World War imposed on the world by European states through their colonial systems. It had deep impact but so did Abdurrahman Wahid’s conceptualization on states in Asia. Yet we find very few universal concepts offered as general theory based on Indonesia’s first democratically elected leader.

I will finally end by stating that Western rationalist assumption of historicity,[52] and de-legitimizing ‘knowing truth’ through examination of myth and stories dominates IR.  It is by no means clear that Africa, Middle-East, Asia and in particular South Asia have made this commitment.  In fact, it is quite likely that practitioners of statecraft come to their understandings of the world not through reading IR literature, but through stories, myths and fictions. If broadening of the audience of IR is the goal, then it is worth reconsidering the limitation of historicity, and to consider the use of IR through parable, societal imaginations and coming together of East-West thinking on IR.

If our theories in fact capture great truths, then we should expect such truths to be relatively timeless, and to provide explanatory power not only of historical records, but also of other human attempts to capture essential truths such as through drama, fiction, story and myth.

In terms of inclusion and broader case studies, the rise of machine scanning and translation technology now unlocks a treasure trove of records of pre-colonial sovereign polity relations across Africa, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, South East and East Asia.  We can now think of a grand project to code such records to look for whether or not they provide confirming evidence of our theoretical outlook outside the European Westphalian model, or whether there are, in fact, novel truths and patterns to be uncovered.

In conclusion, we need to answer a fundamental question. Who is our scholarship aimed at? This is connected to my question I highlighted in the beginning: Are these scholarships aimed at those scholars who are already sold to these concepts and methods, to the exclusion of those who do not necessarily find them useful to explain IR? Consequently, a few other questions should be discussed.

–    Why don’t others find them useful?  Is it alien jargon?
–    Where is the role of statistical models and where is their overreach?

In conclusion, IR as a discipline will not progress much if we continue to utilize the same old concepts, models and theories, drawn heavily from Western academia to study change and innovation. Let us strive to be truly ‘conceptually’ international.

Main stupa of Sariputta in the ancient Nalanda University, Bihar, India.
Main stupa of Sariputta in the ancient Nalanda University, Bihar, India. wikicommons.

This is an abridged version of a paper I presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, Toronto, 2019. The original ‘unpublished paper’ offers in-depth analyses, cross cultural case studies and recommendations.

[1] “ISA 2019 Call for Proposals,” https://www.isanet.org/Conferences/Toronto-2019/Call (accessed October 21, 2020).

[2] “Christian Wolf”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, First published on July 3, 2006; substantive revision November 11, 2014 at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wolff-christian/ (accessed on March 12, 2019).

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Epistemology”, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, at https://www.iep.utm.edu/epistemo/ (accessed October 11, 2020). Jonathan M. Moses and Torbjorn L. Knutsen, Ways of Knowing Competing Methodologies in Social and Political Research (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

[5] Hans Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963). Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013); Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley,1979).

[6] Karl Marx, Das Kapital (Germany: Verlag von Otto Meisner, 1867); Alexander Anievas, ed., Marxism and World Politics Contesting Global Capitalism (London and New York: Routledge, 2010).

[7] Randall L. Schweller, “Unanswered Threats: A neoclassical Realist Theory of Underbalancing”, International Security, 29/2 (Fall 2004), pp. 159-201.

[8] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Critical Theory”, March 8, 2005, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/ (Accessed October 16, 2020). David Held, Introduction to Critical Theory Horkheimer to Habermas (London: Hutchinson, 1980).

[9] Scott Burchill and Andrew Linklater, Theories of International Relations (New York: Red Globe Press, 2013).

[10] Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

[11] R. Devetak, “Theories, Practices, and Post Modernism in International Relations 1”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 12/2, 1999, pp. 61-76 at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09557579908400243?journalCode=ccam20 (Accessed on March 11, 2019).

[12] Stephen M. Walt, “Is IR Still ‘An American Social Science?’, Foreign Policy, June 6, 2011 at https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/06/06/is-ir-still-an-american-social-science/ (Accessed on March 11, 2019).

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Stanley Hoffman does not critique but offers an interesting insight in “An American Social Science: International Relations”, Daedalus, 106/3, Discoveries and Interpretations: Studies in Contemporary Scholarship, Volume I (Summer, 1977), pp. 41-60 at https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/20024493.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents (accessed October 16, 2020).

[16] Walt, op.cit.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Natasa Miskovic, et.al., eds., The Non-alignment Movement and the Cold War (London, New York: Routledge, 2014).

[20] Jingham Zeng, “Constructing a “new type of great power relations”: the state of debate in China (1998-2014)”, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 18/2, 2016, pp. 422-442.

[21] “Belt and Road Portal”, at https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/ (accessed October 16, 2020).

[22] Ibid.

[23] David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 1964).

[24] Baron Antoine-Henri de Jomini, The Art of War, translated from French by G.H. Mendel and W.P. Craighill, 1862, at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/13549/13549-h/13549-h.htm (accessed October 16, 2020).

[25] Robert Thompson, Defeating Communist Insurgency: Experiences from Malaya and Vietnam (London: Palgrave, Macmillan, 1978).

[26] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, translated by R. Shamasastry (Mysore: Mysore Press, 1951).

[27] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, op.cit. Also see P.K. Gautam, “Relevance of Kautilya’s Arthasashtra”, Strategic Analysis, 37/1, 2013, pp. 21-28 at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09700161.2012.737592?journalCode=rsan20 (Accessed on March 15, 2019). By same author, “Kautilya’s Arthasashtra: Contemporary Issues and Comparison”, IDSA Monograph, 47, 2015 at https://idsa.in/monograph/kautilyas_Arthashastra_contemporary_issues_and_comparison (Accessed on March 15, 2019).


[29] Thomas Weber, “Gandhian Philosophy, Conflict Resolution Theory, and Practical Approaches to Negotiation”, Journal of Peace Research, 38/4 (Jul 2001), pp. 493-513.

[30] Kanti Bajpai and Siddharth Mallavarapu, eds., International Relations in India: Bringing Theory back Home (New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2005).

[31] David C. Kang, “Getting Asia Wrong The Need for New Analytical Frameworks”, International Security, 27/4, Spring, 2003, pp. 57-85 at https://www.jstor.org/stable/4137604?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents (Accessed on March 12, 2019).

[32] Ibid, p. 58.

[33] “Christian Wolf”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, First published on July 3, 2006; substantive revision November 11, 2014 at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wolff-christian/ (Accessed on March 12, 2019).

[34] R.B. Thohe Pao, “The Myths of Naga Origin”, E-Pao, March 28, 2006 at http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=manipur.Ethnic_Races_Manipur.The_Myths_of_Naga_Origin (Accessed on March 11, 2019).

[35] Ibid.

[36] Christopher Von Furer-Haimendorf, The Naked Nagas (Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co.; Second Revised edition, 1962).

[37] Lee M. Brown, “Understanding and Ontology in Traditional African Thought”, Chapter 9, in Lee M. Brown, ed., African Philosophy: New and Traditional Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press: 2004).

[38] Ibid.

[39] Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (New York: Basic Books, 5th edition, 2015).

[40] “Data on Armed Conflict”, PRIO, at https://www.prio.org/Data/Armed-Conflict/ (Accessed on March 11, 2019).

[41] Jacob Heilbrunn, “The Neocon Surge”, Politico, June 18, 2014 at https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-neocon-surge-108021 (Accessed on March 11, 2019).

[42] The role of myths and folklore was popular with the Greeks as well. See Fftychia Stavrianopoulou, ed., Shifting Social Imaginaries in the Hellenistic Period Narration, Practices and Images (Netherlands: Brill, 2013)

[43] Louise Fawcett, “States and Sovereignty in the Middle-East: Myths and Realities”, International Affairs, 93/4, July 2017, pp. 789-807 at https://academic.oup.com/ia/article/93/4/789/3897520 (Accessed on March 12, 2019).

[44] Ibid.

[45] Swarna Rajagopalan, “Grand Strategic Thought’ in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata”, Chapter 1, in Kanti Bajpai, et.al (eds), India’s Grand Strategy History, Theory, Cases ( London: Routledge, 2014) at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781317559610/chapters/10.4324/9781315733975-9 (Accessed on March 9, 2019).

[46] Stephen Belcher, “Oral Traditions as Sources”, Oxford Research Encyclopedias, African History, February 2018, http://oxfordre.com/africanhistory/abstract/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277734.001.0001/acrefore-9780190277734-e-363 (accessed October 16, 2020).

[47] Jones M. Jaja, “Myths in African Concepts of Reality”, International Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Studies, 6/2, February 2014, pp. 9-14 at https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1075851.pdf (Accessed October 16, 2020). Also see E. J. Alagoa“Oral Tradition and History in Africa”, Kiabara Journal of Humanities, 1, 1978. Rains issue, pp. 8–25; Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, “Oral Tradition and Oral History in Africa and the Diaspora: Theory and Practice”, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Lagos for Nigerian Association for Oral History and Tradition,1990.

[48] Ibid, p. 10.

[49] Stephen Blencher, “Oral Traditions as Sources”, Oxford Research Encyclopedias, February 2018 at http://oxfordre.com/africanhistory/abstract/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277734.001.0001/acrefore-9780190277734-e-363 (Accessed on March 9, 2019).

[50] Pancasila, The State Philosophy, at http://www.indonezia.ro/republic.htm (Accessed on March 14, 2019). Greg Barton, Abdurrahman Wahid Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002). Also by the same author, Gus Dur The Authorized Biography of Abdurrahman Wahid (Jakarta: Equinox Publishing, 2006).

[51] President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, January 8, 1918, at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/wilson14.asp (Accessed on March 13, 2019).

[52] Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history as opposed to being a historical myth, legend, or fiction. Historicity focuses on the true value of knowledge claims about the past (denoting historical actuality, authenticity, and factuality).

© Namrata Goswami