US foreign policy towards India: 1993-2005: a study emphasizing the importance of systematic selection and usage of documentary evidence

Silvestri, Francesca (2018) US foreign policy towards India: 1993-2005: a study emphasizing the importance of systematic selection and usage of documentary evidence. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis studies the implications of the selection of empirical evidence underpinning reported interpretations and conclusions about US foreign policy towards India. US-India relations have been investigated by a number of scholars whose work has been reported in well-regarded books and journal articles. Their studies typically rely for empirical evidence on official documents, and occasionally on interviews. In spite of their qualities, none of these studies provides explicit rational for their selection of US and Indian primary sources and about the procedures and the criteria used to identify relevant information from these sources. This shortcoming poses a risk for the validity of their conclusions. To assess the nature of this risk, this thesis reports a fresh study of US foreign policy towards India in which all publicly available US documents are used. These documents are the basis of a Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA), the results of which feed into the subsequent analysis. The substantive results of this research are compared with those in the existing literature. This comparison reveals, in addition to obvious similarities, important differences that can be attributed to unsystematic and incomplete use of empirical material in the existing literature. These differences, that emanate from a more explicit and systematic approach to evidence, provide grounds for a reassessment of the significance of many factors influencing US foreign policy towards India. This study identifies relevant factors that have so far been overlooked in the existing literature, and that need to be included in accounts to understand widely documented changes in this area of US foreign policy.

Substantively, this thesis highlights the vital importance of the Clinton period in understanding the foreign policy of the United States, a period which had not been examined in sufficient detail by existing studies. Contrary to what most of the existing literature suggests, elements of continuity between the Clinton and the Bush administrations are particularly important to explain the evolution of US foreign policy towards India. In spite of the change in the presidency from Democrat to Republican, President George W. Bush (hereafter Bush) continued to hold the same level of commitment shown by his predecessor in developing closer strategic ties with India, making it a priority of his foreign policy. This aspect is particularly important to furthering a more thorough understanding of US relations with India.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Van der Eijk, Cees
Renz, Bettina
Subjects: E History - America > E151 United States (General)
J Political science > JZ International relations
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 55433
Depositing User: Silvestri, Francesca
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 14:37
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2019 08:30

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