Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Varshney in the Indian Express: In a Sweet Spot

June 27, 2023

In his recent article published in the Indian Express on June 27, 2023, titled "In a Sweet Spot" Ashutosh Varshney reflects on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States and discusses the primacy of geopolitics, specifically national security, over economics and democracy in international relations.

Varshney explains that in the field of international relations, it is widely assumed that nations are primarily driven by security concerns. This assumption can be traced back to Thomas Hobbes, who argued in his book "Leviathan" during the English Civil War that public order and security, provided by a government, are essential for human life to thrive. This idea has found significant application in the international system, which lacks a centralized governing authority like national governments.

Without a world government, nations are tasked with ensuring their own security and without security, societies are unable to pursue freedom, development, protect citizen rights, or provide justice. Thus, the article highlights the importance of prioritizing geopolitics and national security in international relations, given the absence of a sovereign authority at the global level. Read the full article.