Bangladesh becomes a great power

Is India a regional power, a great power or a world power? Stations of Indian foreign policy

Understanding India pp 161-174 | Cite as

  • Jonas Hirt
First Online:


Is India a world power? Analysis of publications, especially those that have appeared in the past ten years, gives the impression that India has already achieved this status. India as a world power is appearing more and more frequently as the title of India-related publications. 1 It is also becoming more and more common to read that India will exert steadily growing influence in the near future, not only in political and economic but also in cultural terms. 2 A closer look at these publications, however, reveals a rather diffuse picture. What a regional power, great power or world power actually is often remains unclear. Regional powers, for example, can use their military, political and economic strength in their geographic area to influence the policies of other states in their favor. 3 To be a great power means more than just military and economic strength. This status also manifests itself through exclusive rights in international organizations, such as the right of veto in the UN Security Council. In addition to economic and military strength, this can be described as a political strength. 4 Within the great powers, the USA and the Soviet Union stood out as world powers during the Cold War. A universal ideology serves as the criterion for differentiating from a great power, by means of which the own bloc was convinced to join the great power. 5

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FreiburgFreiburg im BreisgauGermany