Grand Tamasha

India-Pakistan Tensions and When Foreign Policy Matters for Domestic Politics

Episode Summary

Milan talks about the aftermath of the recent conflict between India and Pakistan, and who is likely to benefit politically now that the domestic spin game has begun.

Episode Notes

Milan Vaishnav talks about the aftermath of the recent conflict between India and Pakistan and its ramifications for India's domestic politics and foreign policy with Alyssa Ayres (Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations) and Rezaul Hasan Laskar (Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times). Although major hostilities have paused, tensions between the two neighbors remain high. But as India's election approaches, the domestic spin game has begun. The three discuss the government’s approach, the opposition’s positioning, and how international diplomacy fared during the crisis.

Then, Milan speaks with Vipin Narang, associate professor of political science at MIT and a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Narang is one of the few scholars to have thought deeply about when foreign policy actually matters for domestic politics in India. While the conventional wisdom holds that foreign policy is an elite issue that does not capture the imagination of the masses, Narang (and co-author Paul Staniland) argue that foreign policy can penetrate mass politics when the issue is salient and the lines of accountability are clear. Narang also explains why Modi and the BJP are likely to benefit from the recent crisis.