India is focus of new centre at Cambridge

The Centre for Rising Powers will bring together academics from different subject areas whose research touches on one of the most important questions in international relations: How different powers rise to the top of global politics, and how to predict the impact they will have when they do so?

The centre's director is Amrita Narlikar, an alumnus of St Stephen's College, New Delhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The centre's formal launch will take place today with an inaugural lecture by Joseph Nye, Professor at Harvard University and one of the most influential researchers in the field of foreign policy and international relations.

The Centre's research will concern the major emerging powers of the present day – in particular the BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

All four are expected to figure in the list of leading world economies by the year 2050, raising questions about the challenge they will pose to the liberal, western powers who have effectively dictated the course of international politics since the end of the Cold War.

The centre will also look beyond the immediate cases of the 21st century.
Researchers will also look at historical cases to understand more about how new powers emerge, how they can be accommodated, and the effect that this has on international stability in different cases.

Narlikar, director of the centre, said: "Power transitions are one of the main sources of deadlock and conflict on the world stage, but they also have the potential to act as sources of renewal and change for the better."

"As a result, the study of how powers rise and how the process should be handled has a direct impact on international co-operation, peace and stability – and on more general values such as efficiency, fairness and justice in the global order. The research that the Centre produces will, in some form or other, be of international policy relevance."

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