Discover more from InForMetrics - Indian Foreign Policy Metrics
Can Indian Foreign Policy Be Measured?
The question that motivates my blog InForMetrics.
Some say Indian Foreign Policy has been transformed under Narendra Modi. While others say that his policy is merely Nehru’s non-alignment with a better PR. Some believe India was caught napping at the LAC when Chinese incursions happened. Others think that the armed forces gave China a bloody nose at Galwan. Some see the United States far too trusting of India for offering many freebies. Others suggest that India can never trust the US because, once, Henry Kissinger said that being friends with America is fatal.
Ideally, we would’ve preferred to test these narratives scientifically for the ultimate truth. Alas! It is hard to do in social sciences.
We live in a world where these competing explanations exist, and narrative wars are fought on everything under the sun. Then comes our biases. We tend to believe what we like and deny what we don’t.
In these times, how can we make an informed opinion about Indian Foreign Policy? I argue that right data with the right analytical tool and the right evidence can help us reach an informed opinion.
If we could quantify international relations, life would be easy. But is it truly impossible to measure foreign policy? Not really. Data science can provide insights into policy issues.
Can we devise Metrics for measuring Indian Foreign Policy? Thus I call it InForMetrics (Indian Foreign Policy Metrics).
Can Indian Foreign Policy Be Measured? Let’s give it a shot!
What will I do here?
I will pick an issue related to Indian Foreign Policy. These issues can be expected to concern India’s national interests for many years.
Every blog post will be a question. The more obvious the question, the more taken-as-granted our opinions may be, and thus more the need for a scientific inquiry.
I will perform a preliminary statistical analysis. No equations, only graphs.
Most writing will be in bullets. No narrative, no stories, no verdicts. Just plain facts, some methods, and inferences.
Finally, I will leave a note on where similar methods may be used.
For now, I’ll begin with this...
Why am I doing it?
I am tired of reading news reports that cite anonymous sources and op-eds based on closed information. Nothing against such pieces, but I am trained to see the world in numbers and cannot come to trust them.
I want to try measuring Indian Foreign Policy. I seek data-backed answers.
As India is changing, the ways of studying its foreign policy must change as well. I believe that instead of problematizing everything like a post-colonial state, we should start seeking solutions like a great-power-next-door.
Why should you read me?
I am an engineer-turned-political scientist who went to IIT Delhi. Then I became interested in International Relations, and now I am based in the United States for a PhD in the same. More about me on my website.
I have been fortunate to ride both ‘science’ and ‘arts’ boats in my career. India lacks data-based social sciences due to our education system. Our 'science’ students struggle to name the capitals of all states in India, while our ‘arts’ students cannot calculate the average of ten integers without sweating. I back myself to do both.
Subscribe InForMetrics if :
You think that Foreign Policy Analysts in India should engage in data-centric inquiry. OR,
You love data and are curious about its application in Indian Foreign Policy. OR,
You hate data, and numbers are your nightmare. But you are so passionate about Indian Foreign Policy that you wouldn’t mind leaving your comfort zone.
I will keep it very simple. InForMetrics is for everyone. If you are able to read a graph, you will be good. If not, you can learn it in five minutes on WikiHow.
That’s it. NO MATH SKILLS REQUIRED!
For readers with advanced proficiency, I will put lots of hyperlinks and supplementary material on the methods.
InForMetrics is one of my passion projects. So, I’ll be On-and-Off when my “work” work cries for attention. But my posts might knock your inbox anytime upon subscription. Watch out this space!
Feel free to comment your thoughts and some foreign policy questions that you might wish to quantify.