In the realm of international affairs, there’s often a grey area between academic writing and policy analysis, and between policy analysis and journalistic commentary. Academics who write massive scholarly tomes often write shorter journal articles for the lay intelligent reader alongside professional policymakers, and also op-ed length articles for general public consumption. The best (or sometimes simply the best-known) experts excel in all three forms.
Blogging is but the newest modus operandi of the public intellectual. An activity that only a few years ago was used by a few unconventional journalists to influence policy is today becoming almost standard practice for well-established commentators in the United States and Europe. And now that a few American academics have made their names through blogging (Juan Cole, Daniel Drezner), it has also now been embraced by more well-established personalities in international relations scholarship: Stephen Walt, Philip Zelikow, Francis Fukuyama, to name a few. It’s also been refreshing to see the role of blogging in the Indian discourse on politics and policy. INI, of course, has been among the pioneers, but it was rather surprising to see that none other than L.K. Advani has recently joined the fray. While I’m not expecting the official Ministry of External Affairs blog to go online anytime soon, it’s clear that blogging is set to become fixture of policy discourse in India.
Mistrustful of the absence of an editorial eye, I’ve resisted the urge to blog on international affairs (I’ve used my blog exclusively to collect my published material from other sources; I also used to write on sports a few years ago for a now-defunct website). But I’ve finally decided to take the plunge. I’ll now be posting regularly at Polaris, primarily on strategic affairs and Indian foreign policy, but also on a variety of other issues: U.S. foreign policy, significant developments in Europe and East Asia, Indian and regional security, and - occasionally, when relevant – cricket.
My previous site (http://www.dhruvajaishankar.com) will continue to be updated with published articles and material from other sources.
Hope you enjoy the new blog!