ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Foreign Policy Planning

Foreign Policy Planning B L Maheshwari Foreign Policy and Its Planning by K P Misra;Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1970; pp 88; Rs 15.
THE study of foreign policy is an underdeveloped area in India. Few scholars devote full time to this field and one often finds it difficult to recommend even a couple of good books on Indian foreign policy. Moreover, in spite of our conscious acceptance of the need for planning at the national level, foreign policy planning has been a neglected subject. It is in this context that the attempt of a scholar of K P Misra's standing in analysing the issues, the institutional aspects and the prospects of foreign policy planning becomes a very commendable thing. Mishra begins and ends by stating that foreign policy is much too serious a matter to be left to civil servants and politicians and indicates in the book that the politicians and the civil servants also seem to agree with this view. There seems to be a general agreement on (i) the interrelationship between the domestic political process and foreign policy; (ii) increased scope, complexity and impact of foreign policies in modern times; and hence (iii) the need for planning in foreign policy. The author rightly points out that whereas democratic politics are open politics, the decision making process in foreign policy is often secret. The Pentagon Papers also established this. Misra, however, does not agree with the oft-cited view that the democratic system is not conducive to effective formulation and implementation of foreign policy. He suggests that foreign policy should be studied as an integral part of the overall policy process and methods and approaches developed in the policy science could be applied to it.

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