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Diplomatic History of Asia- Changing Contours

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Item Code: UAW459
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Author: Ranjana Sheel and Keshav Mishra
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789391123109
Pages: 327
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 560 gm
Book Description

This volume of essays is a result of our collective forays into the vast canvas of the history of Asia especially in the context of rapid changes taking place at both the macro and micro levels. Focusing on diplomatic history, the papers explore emerging trends in the current Asian order and the historical inter relatedness and commonalities which have continued to be challenged by the imperatives of the modern nation state. Within this ambit, themes such as intra-Asia civilizational connections, anti-imperialist movements, vicissitudes of the Cold War era, Energy diplomacy, prospects of a multi-polar Asia and impact on bilateral relations, and future recourses, have been explored and discussed.


Ranjana Sheel is Professor of History at Banaras Hindu University. Her research interests are in social history and women's studies with a focus on India and East Asia. She has been recipient of Japan Foundation and Shastri Indo-Canadian Faculty Fellowships, and was Visiting Fellow at the Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Her publications on dowry, women and politics, marriage and migration, and India-China connectedness are some of the outcomes of her research interests. Among her major publications are The Political Economy of Dowry (Manohar, 1999) and the recently published Thirteen Months in China (OUP, 2017) with Anand A. Yang and Kamal Sheel.

Keshav Mishra, Professor of History at Banaras Hindu University, specialises in Contemporary and Modern Indian History and International Relations. He was recipient of Jawaharlal Nehru scholarship for Doctoral Studies, Asia Fellowship (Bangkok) for research at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and also the Rajbhasha Gaurav Puruskar. He has recently served as Academic Consultant for Prime Ministers' Museum, Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi. Among his recent publications, Rapprochement across the Himalayas: Emerging India-China Relations 1947 2003 and Beesvi Sadi Mein Bharat-Cheen Sambandh: Kitne Paas, Kitne Door (co authored with P. Bharadwaj) are notable.


I am glad that the Department of History of the Banaras Hindu University had taken the initiative to organize a conference on the Diplomatic History of Asia. It is gratifying that a printed volume of papers presented during the conference is now appearing. The Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) is delighted to be associated with this initiative.

The range of papers in this volume illustrates the wide spectrum of issues that Asian diplomatic history throws up. Even for the mid-twentieth century onwards, themes such as decolonization, the impact of the Cold War, unipolarity and others have now passed into the realms of history although each of their shadows touches and impacts us still. For earlier periods, there are other themes - equally weighty. The availability of declassified diplomatic records, personal papers and most of all the capacity to use sources emanating from different parties to past contestations gives to the field of diplomatic history an enormous potential.


It is often held that when diplomacy fails war begins. Usually understood in the context of the nation-state and with deterrence and security issues forming the mainstay, diplomacy, in fact, represents a variety of purposes. It protects and expands the state's material and national interests, fosters nationalism as an instrument of foreign policy, and conducts relations between nations. It also involves the setting up of moral ideals and norms that reflect a sovereign state's own historical trajectory and a bid to project and inject integrity in the international order. About a few decades ago, some historians sounded the lack of "life", "leadership" and dynamism in scholarship pertaining to Diplomatic History. Many of the responses that followed came to defend the state of scholarship in the field and detailed what was expected of a diplomatic historian. It was pointed out, "A diplomatic historian was to know one more language, understand at least two political entities." Besides, its comprehensiveness as an area of study was indicated by emphasizing that a good diplomatic historian must indulge in studies of the "political, intellectual, cultural, social and economic history of two or more societies and writes of the way they interact." (Cohen 1985:102). In more recent times, diplomatic history has further widened in scope. For example, the idea of comprehensive security has emerged and includes economic, environmental as well as military security.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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