“The Relevance of History for Indian Foreign Policy”, a Conversation with Dr. Ramachandra Guha

  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•03•17    18:30 - 19:30

    On 17 March 2015, UNU will host “The Relevance of History for Indian Foreign Policy”, a conversation with renowned historian and biographer Dr. Ramachandra Guha. This event will start at 6:30 PM at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    Dr. Guha’s book India After Gandhi (2007) is widely considered the most impressive survey of India’s history after independence in 1947.  His recent book Gandhi Before India (2013), universally praised, looks at an earlier period during which the Mahatma developed into the political and social leader who foremost swept India to independence.

    India is the world’s largest and perhaps most unlikely democracy, influenced by a long tradition of political thinkers who addressed issues confronting Indian society as it pushed towards modernization and connections with the outside world. India’s state foreign policy was largely built upon the same intellectual legacy, but how does that legacy continue to guide India’s modern global relations?

    Dr. Guha will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation on the past and present of India’s foreign policy. The conversation will consider the twenty-first century relevance of Jawaharlal Nehru’s non-alignment policy, and examine how India fits into the US’s ‘pivot to Asia’. The conversation will explore the role of the growing and wealthy Indian diaspora in shaping India’s foreign policy as well as the roots of India’s enduring conflicts with Pakistan and China, and how these conflicts might be overcome.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 16 March) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the registration page.

    About the speaker

    Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. He has taught at the Yale and Stanford universities, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and been the Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In the academic year 2011–2 he served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.

    Guha’s books also include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002).

    Apart from his books, Guha also writes a syndicated column that appears in six languages in newspapers with a combined readership of some twenty million. Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as “perhaps the best among India’s non-fiction writers”; Time Magazine has called him “Indian democracy’s pre-eminent chronicler”.

    In 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in the humanities by Yale University.



    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925