By Anirudh Kanisetti, Anupam Manur, and Pranay Kotasthane
“The New World Order” is a phrase often used but rarely understood. This discussion document proposes an analytical framework to decode what a New World Order means for India.
The document presents a flexible action portfolio to hold India in good stead over the next 25 years, regardless of the contours of the international system. The action portfolio is derived by imagining 20 likely scenarios for a New World Order at the intersection of two axes. The first axis represents five possible geopolitical trends, organised by the degree of global polarity. The second axis represents four geoeconomic trends; the degree of growth, automation, trade, and labour movements. In each scenario, we propose strategies to maximise India’s national interest.
Finally, we collate recommendations for India which occur in the maximum number of scenarios and propose that acting on these recommendations is the most optimal path for India to secure its national interests in an ever-changing world. These recommendations form the basis of India’s action portfolio and are divided into two broad categories:
Domestic Economic Reforms
- Liberalise major sectors, implement labour and factor market reforms. Be an attractive destination for FDI.
- Focus on the employment elasticity of growth in addition to growth itself. Collaborate with foreign universities for skilling the workforce.
- Build a social security net to deal with inequality, unemployment, skill obsolescence, and an aging population.
Reforms for India’s engagement with the world at large
- Three critical military shifts are needed: from land to sea, from the physical to the virtual (cyberwarfare); and from manpower to firepower.
- Champion the cause of globalisation as the movement of labour, goods, and services is critical for India’s growth.
- Retain flexibility in terms of alignment: be open to larger partnerships and global projects, as well as a unilateral action.
- Partner with other middle powers, especially those concerned by G2 dominance.