How does India deal with its friends and rivals, and see its role in the world? On Global India, host Tanvi Madan and guests unpack India’s foreign policy and its international impact for experts and new learners alike.
Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She is also the host of the Global India podcast. Madan’s work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India’s relations with China and the United States. She also researches the U.S. and India’s approaches in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the development of interest-based coalitions, especially the Australia-India-Japan-U.S. Quad.
Madan is the author of the book “Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped US-India Relations during the Cold War” (Brookings Institution Press, 2020). Her ongoing work includes a book project on the recent past, present, and future of the China-India-US triangle, and a monograph on India’s foreign policy diversification strategy.
Madan is a member of the editorial board of Asia Policy and a contributing editor at War on the Rocks.
Previously, she was a Harrington doctoral fellow and teaching assistant at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. In the past, Madan has also been a research analyst at Brookings, and worked in the information technology industry in India.
Madan has authored a number of publications on India’s foreign policy and been cited by media outlets such as the Associated Press, The Economist, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Madan has also appeared on a number of news shows including on the BBC, Bloomberg, CBS, Channel NewsAsia, CNBC, Fox News, India Today TV, NDTV, NPR, and PBS.
In addition to a doctorate in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin, she has a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, India.
- Asia Policy, editorial board, member
- War on the Rocks, contributing editor
- Harrington Doctoral Fellow and Teaching Assistant, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
- Research Analyst, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
- Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin (2012)
- M.A., Yale University (2003)
- B.A., Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University (1999)
Media and Appearances
The issues like debt, rising food and energy prices have been exacerbated by the war and the pandemic. India and other developing countries in the G20 would want industrialised economies to contribute capital to resolve these issues.
The limitation with the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] is that China and Russia are trying to turn it into an anti-Western grouping, and that does not fit with India’s independent foreign policy.
In the cold war, India could walk a middle path because it had no major disputes with either the US or the Soviet Union, and play each other off against each other. Today it can’t do that with the US and China.
There’s a strategic imperative in the region. Multiple administrations have seen India as a geopolitical counterbalance, an economic alternative and a democratic contrast to China.
From a strategic, economic and values perspective, part of what has made India attractive is that it is a democracy….Part of that, I think the U.S. has recognized, is accepting who Indian voters elect and recognizing the limitations of what the U.S. can do about India’s internal affairs. Nonetheless, the state of India’s democracy is something that the U.S. does think about.
The visit marks one of the rare moments in U.S.-India history where there is a real opportunity to take things to the next level. It is driven by strategic imperatives, not least China.
When there is strategic convergence, the two countries [India and the United States] are incentivised to manage their differences. Maybe not eliminate them, but manage their differences. And I think that has happened with their differing stands on Russia
The U.S. has seen India as important in its own right – as a large, economically growing democracy, with military and technological capabilities that will play a key role in the international order.