Join us in CGIS South, Room S250 (1730 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor) for this upcoming discussion on Bhutan’s relationship with India and China.
The antagonistic relationship between India and China is marked by a high mutual threat perception, frequent hostilities along their shared border across the Himalayas, and a demonstrable ineffectiveness of big power diplomacy in bringing about conciliatory understandings in spite of increasing volumes of trade between them. As a small Himalayan state, contemporary Bhutan is geopolitically mapped through an exhaustive and southward oriented “inbetweenness” (“inbetween India and China”) that is taken to be natural but in fact has shifted over the centuries. In this lecture, Nitasha Kaul will trace a longer imperial and post-colonial history of this inbetweenness and its effect on knowledge-making about smaller states, and present the indigenous aspects of this small state’s foreign policy, suggesting that Bhutan’s foreign policy trajectory is necessary to better grasp Indian and Chinese interests as they are negotiated by the Bhutanese, as opposed to accounts where Bhutan is constructed as a passive placeholder of great power politics.
Speaker: Nitasha Kaul, University of Westminster
Moderator: Arunabh Ghosh, Harvard University
Cosponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University