India's Adventure with the QUAD: Deciphering Instrumentalism in "Minilateralism"


President & Managing Trustee

Global Law Assembly

Manohar Samal

Legal Professional

After 7 years, four countries in Asia-Pacific and Atlantic regions, i.e., India, the United States, Australia and Japan showed interest to transform their relationship at a strategic level – which infamously is regarded as the ‘QUAD’, which in a multipolar world focuses on an ASEAN-centric multilateral framework, which can also be termed as a form of minilateralism endorsed by the Heads of States and Governments of the four countries. Though the alliance framework is yet to mature, there is no doubt to reckon that the QUAD framework must learn from the past (and continuous) multilateral frameworks – which have been created and implemented so far. The discussion paper therefore emphasizes on India’s tenable contributions to transform the ‘minilateral’ soft power and hard power considerations in India, and proposes analysis and recommendations on the following issues addressed:

(a) The artificial yet decaying implications of the previous and old Non-Aligned Movement and its impact on India’s soft power;

(b) The political and individual economics of India;

(c) India’s approach and policy over harnessing hard power;

(d) The transition towards relevant political alignment measures;

(e) Mistakes in earlier Eurocentric and Americanized alliances and bodies;

(f) India’s commitment to rule of law and ‘reformed’ multilateralism for QUAD and the other incumbent international organizations,

The NAM Phase

The Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) was a result of the collapse of colonial structures which existed in the Asian, African and Latin American regions during the Cold War period.[1] Historians trace the 1955 Bandung Asian- African Conference as the point of origin for the movement.[2] India has been a crucial part of this movement which was created with the original intention of supporting self- determination, sovereignty, national independence, territorial integrity, independence from power blocs, non- interference in the internal affairs of other nations, opposition to apartheid, disarmament, eliminating the threat of force and the use of force in international relations to name a few.[3] This being stated, it is necessary to point out that the Non- Aligned Movement was India’s strategy to survive and develop in a world which was moving towards the Cold War.[4]