This past May, India, a country of over 1.2 billion people, elected Narendra Modi, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the new prime minister, shifting leadership away from an incumbent party that held power for the past few decades. This new government, set in the context of shifting political and security dynamics, brings new challenges for dialogue in a region that sees unresolved border disputes and historical tensions, particularly between China and India.
What impact will India’s new leadership have in Northeast Asia? How do historical relationships continue to shape the present? What is the outlook for policy priorities between India and countries in Northeast Asia?
Scholars from the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution’s India Center will offer perspectives in a panel discussion. This event is Shorenstein APARC’s inaugural event in New Delhi.
Gi-Wook Shin is the director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center; the Tong Yang, Korea Foundation, and Korea Stanford Alumni Chair of Korean Studies; the founding director of the Korea Program; a senior fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; and a professor of sociology, all at Stanford University. As a historical-comparative and political sociologist, his research has concentrated on social movements, nationalism, development, and international relations. Shin is the author/editor of sixteen books and numerous articles, the most recent including Criminality, Collaboration, and Reconciliation: Europe and Asia Confronts the Memory of World War II (2014) and New Challenges for Maturing Democracies in Korea and Taiwan (2014). Before coming to Stanford, Shin taught at the University of Iowa and the University of California, Los Angeles. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Yonsei University in Korea, he was awarded his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Washington.
Vikram S. Mehta currently serves as the executive chairman of Brookings India in New Delhi and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Mehta started his career with the Indian Administrative Service in 1978. He resigned in 1980 to join Phillips Petroleum in London as their senior economist. In 1984, he returned to India to join the government company Oil India Ltd. as an advisor for strategic planning. He joined Shell International in London in 1988. He was appointed managing director of Shell Markets and Shell Chemical Companies in Egypt in 1991, and chairman of the Shell Group of Companies in India in 1994.
Michael Armacost is the Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College as well as a master’s and doctorate in public law and government from Columbia University. He began his professional life as an instructor of government at Pomona College in 1962. Armacost entered the State Department in 1969 as a White House Fellow, and remained in public service for twenty-four years. During that time he held sensitive international security positions in the State Department, Defense Department, and the National Security Council. These included Ambassador to the Philippines from 1982-84, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs from 1984-89, and Ambassador to Japan from 1989-1993. Armacost subsequently served as president of the Brookings Institution from 1995-2002.
Karl Eikenberry is the William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and is a Distinguished Fellow with the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from May 2009 until July 2011 and had a 35-year career in the United States Army, retiring with the rank of lieutenant general. His military assignments included postings with mechanized, light, airborne, and ranger infantry units in the continental United States, Hawaii, Korea, Italy, and Afghanistan as the Commander of the American-led Coalition forces from 2005–07. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, has earned master’s degrees from Harvard University in East Asian studies and Stanford University in political science, was awarded an Interpreter’s Certificate in Mandarin Chinese from the British Foreign Commonwealth Office, and earned an advanced degree in Chinese History from Nanjing University.
W.P.S. Sidhu is a senior fellow with Brookings India in New Delhi and Foreign Policy at Brookings. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation. His research focuses on India’s evolving grand strategy; the role of India and other emerging powers in the global order; addressing nuclear weapon challenges and security; and development challenges in fragile states. He is co-editor of the book Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order, published in August 2013 by Brookings Institution Press.