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Deciphering National Identity: - a discourse analysis of India's foreign policy behaviour during the 2014 Crimean crisis
Swedish National Defence College.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study builds on the idea that discourses have the power to show that national identity did influence the puzzling foreign policy behaviour of India in March 2014 during the Crimean crisis. When analysing the material and illustrating the identified discourses, discourse- theorists Laclau and Mouffe’s framework is used both as theory and method. Discourse analysis has its starting point in the idea that the reality is accessed by the means of language. The use of Laclau and Mouffe’s discursive framework is motivated by the fact that it aims to create an understanding of the social phenomena in question (e.g. the Indian puzzling foreign policy behaviour) by applying discourse analytical tools on texts. Moreover, discourse analysis claims that identities are the result of discursive processes and that political articulation, e.g. foreign policy behaviour, creates the society; ideas that goes well with this paper. Since language is “structured discourses” and because it creates the world which we live in, it is possible to turn to the use of language when conducting a discourse analysis. To decipher which discourses that evolved around the Crimean crisis in March 2014, and to make the connection between national identity and foreign policy behaviour, articles from the three most read Indian newspapers in English are used as material. These articles are triangulated with statements published during 2014 on the homepage of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. This paper tells a rather alternative story compared to that of interest- and power based explanations with roots in realism, since it emphasises that national identity influences foreign policy behaviour. The analysis concludes that two discourses can be deciphered in the material, namely Democracy and Multipolarity, which thus can be seen as elements of Indian national identity. These two discourses imply that the Indian national identity can explain its puzzling foreign policy behaviour in the Crimean crisis in March 2014. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 60 p.
Keyword [en]
National identity, discourse analysis, Laclau and Mouffe, India, foreign policy, 2014 Crimean crisis
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6238OAI: diva2:945645
Subject / course
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och säkerhet (Master's programme in Politics and War)
Educational program
Master's programme in Politics and War
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2016-10-05 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-10-05Bibliographically approved

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