Leon M. Miller, Jr.


Given the fact that Realism has been the established paradigm in international relations India has, on the one hand, planned its foreign policy in light of Realism. India has been compelled to plan foreign policy in light of Realism because of the impact of historical contingency: i.e. historical events, the force of events occurring in the global arena, and the impact that powerful external forces have on the theory and practice of international relations. Realism has also become a prominent factor in Indian international relations due to the impact of historical contingency on the regions in which India is in proximity and, in particular, India’s policies regarding its interactions in the South Asian region.  However, on the other hand, Indian IR scholars rightly regard Realism as a paradigm that prompts an agent to attempt the use of power to gain the relative advantage, it prompts mercantilism, plus it results in attempts at hegemony and neocolonialism. Thus, in terms of path dependency Indian scholars are in principle inclined toward Liberalism. In addition historically India established international legitimacy and a sense of power by promoting international relations on the basis of its principles: nonalignment, cooperation, peaceful coexistence, and the notion of interdependence. This article argues that India’s ability to create its own unique path to the future, to enhance its international legitimacy, and to gain superpower status in the near future is based on transcending historical contingency by means of turning path dependency into path creation.  That is to say that given the reality of contemporary global politics India’s place in the new world order will be based on its own power of will and self-determination, its inherent capabilities, and its ability to transcend historical contingency by means of path creation. 


Historical contingency, India’s legitimacy, Path creation, Path dependency, Sarva-bhauma.

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