Publications

Third Rome: Understanding Syria with Graph Theory

The Syrian civil war is coming to a close, and it looks like Russia – er, Assad – has won. According to the Military Balance 2019, Since 2015, 500 senior...

Every White House needs a Sarah Sanders, even India’s

The mouthpiece for a country’s premier statesman is occasionally bound to be dumbfounded by the public’s queries. But that can’t be a reason not to have one in a modern...

Skywalks From Hell

Guest post by Ananya Iyer Quickly having transformed from a sleepy town idealized for retirement to a fast-paced megalopolis, Bangalore faces the issues of a city that grew up too...

How urban infrastructure affects women’s safety

When I first saw the invitation for Uber’s discussion on women’s safety, I was prepared for an event dealing with the incorporation of the gender aspect in Uber rides. However,...

The Lipstick Effect

Guest post by Ananya Iyer There are a few industries that conspicuously follow the counterintuitive path of experiencing growth during an economic recession- discount retailers, casinos, repair, handymen. Among these...

Third Rome: A Very Brief History of Russia and Ukraine

This week I’d like to talk about Russia and its favourite neighbour, Ukraine. To say that the two have a shared history is an understatement. Over the last thousand years,...

Why Great Powers Procrastinate

Over the Horizon: Time, Uncertainty, and the Rise of Great Powers David M. Edelstein Cornell University Press (2017) In 2001 political scientist John Mearsheimer unleashed a scholarly fusillade on the...

Jobscape: demographic dividend, gig economy and election season

Welcome back to the Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. This week we discuss India’s demographic dividend, election...

Third Rome: Weekly Russia Update, 11th April 2019

If Marcus Tullius Cicero had been around in 2019, he’d have said that the sinews of war are infinite crude oil. So both Iran and Venezuela are major oil producers,...

Russia in Venezuela

Far from the spotlight (or at least the Indian spotlight), there is a cold war play happening between the Russia and the United States. The latest battleground is Venezuela where...

Democracies: Delegative vs Deliberative

An interesting article in Science argues that deliberative mechanisms can resolve the present crisis in democracy. Although the solution by itself is not novel the article takes into account the latest...

Third Rome: Weekly Russia Update, 28th March 2019

As everyone who has read a history book once is fond of repeating, history repeats itself. This has been a week of Cold War nostalgia in more ways than one....

Third Rome: Russia Weekly Update, 21st March 2019

For the third year in a row, Russia’s position on the World Happiness Index has slipped – it now ranks just beneath Pakistan. Part of the reason its high rank...

Eye On China: Politics First – Italy’s Choice – Misri’s Priorities – Backing Pakistan

Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover the CPC’s new rules for cadres; Xi’s visit to Italy;...

Book Review: A Nuclear Winter’s Tale

By Pranav V Title: A Nuclear Winter’s Tale – Science and Politics in the 1980s Author: Lawrence Badash Publisher: MIT Press (2009) The contention between scientific conjecturing, and its radical...

A Kautilyan Take on the Recent India-Pakistan Conflict

By Dr Kajari Kamal, Faculty, Strategic Studies Programme The news of Indian Air force striking Balakot in a ‘non-military pre-emptive’ action came when former Indian diplomats and members of the...

Third Rome: Weekly Russia Update, 14th March 2019

It seems strangely appropriate that the largest series of protests that Russia has seen in years is due to the state attempting to do new things with the Internet. Just...

Third Rome: Weekly Russia Update, 7th March 2019

It’s been an eventful week for Russia on the global stage. Over the last few months. Turkey’s ham-fisted attempts to intervene in northern Syria seemed to only harden the geopolitical...

The Cold War in 4 Visuals

A while back, I wrote about Aleksandr Dugin’s Last War of the World Island: The Geopolitics of  Contemporary Russia. Dugin’s worldview, I pointed out, was overly simplistic, relying on arbitrary definitions of...

The Compound Eye Mar 1

Policy Focus Open Access Policy and Plan S: In a tweet, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Professor K Vijayraghavan announced India’s intention to join cOAlition S...

Incremental structural reforms are structurally incremental

Last week, Ameya Naik and I were explaining government decision-making to our GCP class using Putnam’s two-level games framework. We used the 1991 Indian economic reforms to illustrate how external...

Religious Beliefs and the Law

I read the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah’s first Reith Lecture on the subject of Creed recently. And what he has to say about religious beliefs makes for an interesting read,...

Newsletter: The Compound Eye Feb 15

The Compound Eye Feb 15, 2019 Policy in Focus: Interim Budget, 2019: Instead of a policy, this fortnight we highlight announcements from the Interim Budget that embrace the development of...

Aphorisms and the Study of Foreign Policy

Ambassador Shivshankar Menon’s recent keynote address at JNU pulled few punches in describing what ails the study of international relations in India. My colleague Pranay Kotasthane has already weighed in...

What Ails Foreign Policy as a Study Discipline?

Amb Shivshankar Menon’s keynote speech on what’s wrong with IR studies in India has sparked a healthy discussion online. His main arguments: Indian students are well versed with abstract IR theory...

Prediction Markets as a Tool for Intelligence Analysis

The raison d’être for intelligence analysis is being able to predict near-future events with reasonable accuracy. Based on the little that I have read, there is no mechanism that seeks to improve...

“Trade wars are easy to win”! Think again, Mr. Trump

“Trade wars are good, and easy to win!”, Mr Trump had exclaimed. About a year after such an exclamation, there are hundreds of farmers, Trump’s traditional voter base, gathered around...

Newsletter: The Compound Eye 1

The Compound Eye – Feb 1, 2019 Policy in Focus – DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018: The Lok Sabha passed the DNA Technology Bill, 2018, 2018 on...

The Great Liberalisation of 1860

Some debates, it seem, never go away. In the first half of the 19th century, France has some of the most extreme protectionist laws in the world. It had 58 prohibited...

The Geopolitics of Russia: A Review of Aleksandr Dugin’s “Last War of the World-Island”

It’s not an overstatement to say that over the last twenty years, the world has grown increasingly used to American primacy and leadership. This primacy also spills over to the...
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