India and China are strategic rivals. The Indian government has hardened its policies on China in recent years – but how do the Indian people see China? How a public regards key foreign policy issues could give the government space to develop or change policy; conversely, it could limit a democratic government’s options, especially in times of crisis. In this webinar, APARC post-doctoral fellow Aidan Milliff presents groundbreaking research on Indian public attitudes towards China. Examining some 60 years of data on how Indians see China, the research shows clear historical trends in Indian opinion towards China. In recent years, Indian views of China had been souring well before the border crisis of 2020, and before government policy began to harden. Using this rich body of new polling data, this webinar will examine how the government is constrained by, and seeks to shape, its public’s opinion towards China.
Aidan Milliff is the Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Asia at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He uses computational social science methods combined with qualitative tools to answer questions about the cognitive, emotional, and social forces that shape political violence, forced migration, post-violence politics, and the politics of South Asia. Before coming to Stanford, Aidan earned a PhD in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, he was affiliated with the MIT Security Studies Program and Harvard’s Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute. Prior to graduate school, Aidan was a James C. Gaither Junior Fellow in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was born and raised in Colorado.
Arzan Tarapore is the South Asia research scholar at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, where he leads the South Asia Initiative. His research focuses on military strategy, Indian defense policy, and contemporary Indo-Pacific security issues. Prior to his scholarly career, he served as an analyst in the Australian Defense Department. Arzan holds a PhD from King’s College London.