The global transition, which is the result of the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the crisis of the USA’s unipolarism has changed the situation and favoured the meeting of India with Latin America.
In particular, India, in the years following the cold war, changed its approach by designing its own foreign policy in terms of ‘extended neighbourhood’ and acting on the basis of four lines of tendency, the result of the competition, within the Indian political landscape, between two factions: the ‘nationalist faction’ of direct derivation from the anti-colonial movement and the recently developed ‘pragmatic faction’.
Specifically, while reaffirming its commitment to the UN system, India has tried to develop within the organization the increasing numerical strength gained from developing countries in order to promote its national interests. India, then got closer to the United States in order to benefit from the relationship with the global hegemonic power while simultaneously attempting to mitigate its unilateralism, directing the USA toward a collective hegemony in which India cut out a place for itself together with the other major emerging powers.
The Indian government also replaced then its ‘mixed’ economy with an ‘open’ economy, by adopting in 1991 a new economic policy based on the principles of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. India, also began to examine the multipolar perspective through a constructive engagement with all actors in the field, by solving, for instance, the historical disputes and widening the economic integration with China; by acquiring from the USA, technology and military capabilities; by obtaining supplies of energy resources and armaments from Russia; and by obtaining access to Japan’s financial and technological resources.
India also played an active role in the several and varied regional organizations, in exploring alternative seats of multipolarism offered by regional organizations, in both ways, through adhesion (SAARC, G4, G8 5, G20, G77, BRICS, IBSA) and through the creation of close economic and strategic ties (EU and ASEAN).
The foreign policy of India is thus characterized by the willingness to cooperate with the several international actors, without being excessively tied to any of them. The main objective of such diversified and pragmatic policy is basically to obtain the status of a great power. This ambition, together with the economic interests, have pushed India to insert into its foreign policy priorities, the expansion in other regions of the globe including Africa and South America. Within the new global scenario, Latin America also has carved out a role as an emerging protagonist. (F.R.& P. S.)