Rowman and Littlefield International

Values in Foreign Policy

Investigating Ideals and Interests

Edited by Krishnan Srinivasan, James Mayall, and Sanjay Pulipaka

43 Reviews

This book throws light on whether Asian values constitute a specific genre that differentiates Asia from the West and feeds into its nations’ foreign policies, and whether there is a basic difference of opinion on values or merely an aspect of contemporary power politics.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786607492 Release date: Feb 2019
£92.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781786607508 Release date: Feb 2019
£30.00 €34.95 $38.95
Ebook ISBN: 9781786607515 Release date: Feb 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $37.00

Pages: 316



Values in Foreign Policy: Investigating Ideals and Interests covers all aspects of the tension between values and national priorities, with specific reference to the leading countries of today. The volume explores the effect of the enlightenment, colonialism, modernity and post-modernity in determining contemporary value systems which are often uncomfortable in their interface with each other. This book, written in accessible, non-technical language, will be of interest and benefit to policy-makers and practitioners of foreign policy, as well as the academic community. It will be equally valuable to anyone interested in international relations. Written by specialists in the field of foreign relations, this is the closest examination ever made of the impulses which drive the foreign policies of the world’s most important countries, touching on the legacies of religion, civilization, culture and history.

Companion website:



Robert D. Kaplan

Introduction: Values and Foreign Policy

Krishnan Srinivasan, James Mayall, Sanjay Pulipaka

1. Values in European Foreign Policy: Defending the Enlightenment in Troubled Times

James Mayall

2. Values and European Foreign Economic Policy: Ideas, Institutions and Interests

Fredrik Erixon

3. Values in German Foreign Policy: How Changes of Course Created Lasting Values

Amit Das Gupta

4. Values in US Foreign Policy: ‘America First’ Meets the Pro-Democracy State

William J. Antholis

5. Overview: Reflections on Values in Western Foreign Policy: From the Liberal World Order to Antithetical Values

Bruno Maçães

6. Values in Russian Foreign Policy: Soviet Values, Revisionism and President Putin

Hari Vasudevan and Tatiana Shaumyan

7. Islamic Values in Foreign Policy: Perspectives on ‘Secular’ Turkey and ‘Islamic’ Iran

Mehmet Ozkan and Kingshuk Chatterjee

8. Values in Indian Foreign Policy: Lofty Ideals Give Way to Parochial Pragmatism

Krishnan Srinivasan

9. Values in Myanmar's Foreign Policy: Neutralism, Isolationism and Multi-Engagement

Sanjay Pulipaka and Chaw Chaw Sein

10. Values in Indonesian Foreign Policy: Independent and Active Doctrine

Dewi Fortuna Anwar

11. Values in Chinese Foreign Policy: Culture, Leadership and Diplomacy

Zhang Lihua

12. Values in South Korean Foreign Policy: Search of New Identity as a ‘Middle Power’

Lee Seong-hyon

13. Values in Japanese Foreign Policy: Between ‘Universal Values’ and the Search for Cultural Pluralism

Tadashi Anno

14. Overview: Reflections on Values in Asian Foreign Policy: ASEAN’s Three Principles

Ravi Velloor


List of Contributors

Krishnan Srinivasan is a former Indian Foreign Secretary.

James Mayall is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Cambridge University and fellow of the British Academy.

Sanjay Pulipaka is Senior Fellow at the Nehru Museum and Library and adviser to ICRIER, New Delhi.

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43 Reviews

An edited volume, it contains 14 essays by well-known scholars, each dealing with a specific country or region, which assesses the role of values in the formulation of foreign policy. Besides, the Introduction, composed by the three editors, brings out the theoretical aspects, drawing general conclusions from the findings of the contributors. It is an excellently designed framework to discuss a rather complex subject. . . . this work is invaluable. It explores the philosophy of international politics in contemporary times. It should immensely interest everyone who is curious about what really drives a nation’s foreign policy. It may inspire others to produce volumes that are even broader in scope.

The Hindu

What a rich harvest! With insight and verve, a constellation of esteemed scholars appraises the charged and sometimes contradictory place national (and transnational) values can play to shape dispositions and decisions by key actors. Truly global in scope, the book reveals how specific, situated patterns guide these discernments and determinations in a world oriented to power, shaped by national particularities, and divided by sovereign boundaries.

Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

At a time when rising populism, ‘deal-making’ and transactional diplomacy are widely seen to be in the ascendant, this collection of essays could not be more timely. It is never a simple question of either values or interests when it comes understanding to the conduct and drivers of foreign policy. What is needed is a deeper appreciation of the complex relationship between the two. This is precisely what this stimulating and thought-provoking book offers.

Mats Berdal, Professor of International Relations, King's College London

With great intellectual verve the contributors to this volume engage with the question of values in a world in which many old certainties about public goods such as democracy and human rights are being questioned as never before. The book provides a very worthy contribution to a critical and ongoing debate.

Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations, Director of IDEAS, London School of Economics

This book could not be more timely, given the crisis of values that many nations and regions are experiencing. The diverse and distinguished authors are to be praised and listened to. Their perspectives will help readers in their capacities as citizens of the world.

Strobe Talbott, Former US Deputy Secretary of State and President of Brookings

Many countries claim to conduct a foreign policy based on moral values or ethical principles. In reality these claims have to compete with international realities, power politics and the unforeseeable. This wide-ranging book reflects the long and distinguished careers of its contributors in the clarity and incisiveness with which it tackles this complex field and establishes the essential elements in a major constituent of foreign policy as conducted in Asia and the West.

Sir Roger Hervey, Former British Ambassador

Every country decides on its national interests and values and then pursues them pragmatically. You can read what these are in Values in Foreign Policy. You can then judge which countries are better prepared to accept the responsibilities for combating global problems such as accelerating Climate Change, religious and ethnic wars, poverty and mass migration.

Sir Colin Imray, Former British Ambassador

The question of different countries’ values and how, if at all, they are reflected in foreign policy, is one of great importance for the future world order. Krishnan Srinivasan, a distinguished Indian diplomat, and his co-editors have done us a great service in reaching beyond the usual Western academic suspects and bringing together perspectives on this crucial issue from different parts of the world.

Edward Mortimer, Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford

Values in Foreign Policy: Investigating Ideals and Interests discusses value systems lying behind foreign policies of major international players, often touching on their historical and cultural legacies, and compares them with their actual practices and pragmatic adjustments. It contains eighteen contributions of authors specialising in the foreign policies of important countries of Asia and the West. Written in very accessible language, this book is a must-read not only for policy-makers and practitioners of foreign policy, but for all interested in international relations.

Diwakar Acharya, Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics, University of Oxford

As interest in foreign policy is being reignited and re-imagined to explore the values of multiple nations in an increasingly non-Western world, this is a very timely book. That it is written with an eye to context and fabric, and in language that makes sense to the world beyond the hallowed corridors of technical power, makes it not just timely but an important book for our time. Edited by Krishnan Srinivasan, this is a book that no one with an interest in foreign policy should miss.

Jeanne-Marie Gescher, Senior Fellow, SOAS China Insititute

Values in Foreign Policy is a significant book. An understanding of values in different continents is critical to successful diplomacy in today’s increasingly interconnected world. The distinguished contributors provide insights of importance to both practitioners and academics.

Veronica Sutherland, Frrmer British Ambassador and President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge

Values in Foreign Policy is about the relation of values to foreign policy. In a rather under-developed area of thinking, the studies in it are timely, clear and illuminating. The Introduction and inter alia, Krishnan Srinivasan’s chapter on India, show a characteristic combination of objectivity, lucidity and mastery. It would be difficult to find a volume with a more subtle understanding of value systems.

Henry Mayr-Harting, Former Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Oxford

At a time when the virtues of internationalisation and global citizenship are being challenged and borders seem to be narrowing, this is a timely book. In a series of lively essays, this book will be of interest to policy makers, NGOs and all interested in how pragmatism and idealism meet in diplomatic relations. It also contains a valuable critique of post-colonial legacies and how international relations are influenced by religion, culture and history.

Joanna Newman, Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities, London

At a time of great change and uncertainty in global affairs, the role of values and value systems in national foreign policies will be of crucial significance in moderating or exacerbating international tensions. In this book, a glittering array of scholars and former diplomats offer often startling insights into the nature, content and efficacy of values as they shape and affect the foreign policies of key countries in North America, Europe and, especially, Asia. Both individually and collectively they open up important new perspectives on the past, present and future of international relations.

Alex May, Senior Research Editor, Dictionary of National Biography, University of Oxford

Values in Foreign Policy shows that, while the external activities of states are often analysed in terms of realpolitik, governments are guided by cultural parameters. This is evident when they claim to promote human rights - or alternatives to these values that are described as ‘western’. But it is also true when rulers do not project any value-based discourse as then they comply unconsciously to some worldview or Weltanschauung.

Christophe Jaffrelot, Professor, Kings Institute London, Former Director CERI, Sciences Po, Paris

Values in Foreign Policy is a remarkable book with a truly global scope. It is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the value systems in global politics in the 21st century.

Anders Andrén, Professor, University of Stockholm

This book is a deep journey into the value systems shaping foreign policies around the world. An extremely important contribution today, when the connection between values and policy choices is increasingly confused and blurred.

Giorgio Barba Navaretti, Professor of Economics, University of Milan

This book convincingly explores the interplay between theory and practice of different values in foreign policy, exemplified by expert studies on several countries in Asia, Europe and North America. The strength of this work lies, inter alia, in the fact that the detailed analyses of ‘Asian’ sets of values, especially when contrasted with ‘the West’, prove the great diversity of value systems in Asia based on their multi-religious background. The book also succeeds in illustrating that modern foreign policy cannot be fully comprehended without substantial historical knowledge of pre-modern Asian and European societies.

Annette Schmiedchen, Humboldt University, Berlin

The book prompts a rethinking of many assumptions held about the role national values play in shaping a state’s foreign policy. It explores how different countries can apply, export, exploit, ignore and sometimes wilfully controvert the values applied in their domestic policy in pursuit of international objectives. Values in Foreign Policy is an essential guide to both scholars and practitioners of diplomacy, as well an informative and accessible read for anyone with even a passing interest in modern international history.

Anna Belkina, Deputy Editor in Chief, Russia Today, Moscow

While reading the excellent chapter in Values in Foreign Policy by William J. Antholis on US foreign policy, key words caught my attention; multilateralism, engagement, democracy, and intervention to protect these values. Antholis writes “while the president is the dominant player in setting US foreign policy, he cannot simply act alone.” This reinforces my faith in democracy and it is America which has to provide leadership.

Sushanta Duttagupta, Professor and Former Vice Chancellor of Viswa Bharati University

The movement towards various forms of global convergence, even if fitful, with many areas fractious and contested, is now a reality for the world community. This pioneering book Values in Foreign Policy on the balance between values and the reality of foreign policy compulsions in different parts of the world, is an essential and vital contribution to an understanding of the forces that will shape this evolution, which both the general reader and the expert will find gripping. You absolutely must buy this watershed publication, or at least make sure to read it.

Kamalesh Sharma, Former Commonwealth Secretary General

At a time when immediate interests rather than enduring beliefs govern much of interpersonal relations, Values in Foreign Policy: Investigating Ideals and Interests looks at the role of principles in global politics. Carefully unpicking the practices of a host of countries, East and West, the work examines norms in foreign policy discourses and explores the possibility of universal standards in international relations.

P. R. Kumaraswamy, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

While a good foreign policy should be based on a harmonious mix of national values and national interests, those who frame foreign policy usually know about their own value-systems only, often misreading that of a neighbour or of more far-away countries. This has created a number of conflicts and even wars. Today the world has become a global village, but we still do not understand our neighbours and other nations. This book is important for those who believe that we can make the world better by understanding the values of the ‘other’.

Krishnan Srinivasan and his colleagues should be congratulated on this compilation of the different value-systems which lie at the heart of the foreign policies of all countries.

Claude Arpi, Professor, United Service Institution of India

There is perhaps no riskier proposition in strategic discourse today than attempting to delineate values underlying decision-making in the realm of foreign policy. I commend Krishnan Srinivasan and each author who has contributed to this seminal volume Values in Foreign Policy in providing valuable insights into, and seeking to make sense of, a complex set of variables. A state’s values are not just part of its foreign policy; they are paramount to it. Asia’s modern history is to a large extent about nations adapting their values to contemporaneous realities and attempting to fit the narrative to the circumstances.

M. K. Narayanan, Former Indian Minister of State and National Security Adviser

In case of a conflict between pragmatism or national interest, and principles or values, the former invariably trumps the latter. Yet governments will try to convince their peoples that they are guided by principles. This book, edited by Krishnan Srinivasan and others, will help readers understand how some countries genuinely want to abide by principles, but pressure from big powers, especially some permanent members of the UN Security Council, obliges them to deviate from their values. In the real world, there are no principles except hard power, military and economic.

Chinmaya Gharekhan, Former Under Secretary General of the United Nations

The volume represents a timely and effective intervention to address the crucial issue of the relationship between value systems and the pursuit of foreign policy. Drawing upon case studies from all the main world power centres, the chapters reflect contemporary academic attempts to think beyond the age-old debate on the relative importance of ideology and realpolitik in international politics. The volume should be of interest to both practitioners of foreign policy as well as scholars in international relations.

Suranjan Das, Professor and Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur University, Calcutta

Values in Foreign Policy: Investigating Ideals and Interests brings together, in a garland of ideas, varied analyses by an impressive collection of foreign policy analysts. Foreign policy is necessarily an amalgam of idealism and realism, and the authors demonstrate how these interact with each other in policy formulation and implementation in the real world. A must-read for anyone with curiosity and interest in inter-state relations in the contemporary global matrix.

Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Former Bangladesh Ambassador and Foreign Minister

One thing is certain: two centuries of Western domination of world history will end soon. Western power will retreat. But will Western values retreat too? And will Eastern values fill the void? Krishnan Srinivasan has produced a timely and insightful volume to guide us as we move into a fascinating new era of human history. A must read for all serious thinkers.

Kishore Mahbubani, Former Singapore Permanent Secretary of External Affairs, Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore

Srinivasan, Mayall and Pulipaka have done great service by unpacking the dynamic tension between values and interests in the conduct of foreign policy by major nations. In doing so, they widen the terrain of a debate that has been traditionally framed in terms of a conflict between liberal internationalist and conservative conceptions of American/Western foreign policy or as a clash between 'Eastern' and 'Western' values. By taking a comparative perspective, the authors demonstrate the universal nature of the contradiction between high-minded ideals a nation proclaims and the pragmatic adaptation to the messy realities that its policy makers confront.

C. Raja Mohan, Professor and Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

Values in Foreign Policy brilliantly captures the tensions between ideals and interests which have historically influenced policy making across the globe. The work is particularly effective in tracking the progressive devaluation of value-based policy making to a point where in the present world order relating values to foreign policy appears almost an oxymoron. It is good to be reminded that there were moments in history where values did once play a role in some countries. The editors are to be commended for assembling such a wealth of expertise from across the world to give substance to their narrative.

Rehman Sobhan, Professor and Founder Chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka

This book throws a sharp light on a little researched theme, the role of values in the implementation of foreign policy. Politicians in all major nations face the challenge of executing policies within a framework of national principles. This important work probes the dilemma and the nature of the outcomes.

Wang Yiwei, Jean Monnet Professor, Director of the Institute of International Affairs and Director of the Center for European Studies, Renmin University of China

The editors of Values in Foreign Policy have compiled a set of incisive essays on the interplay of ethical aspirations and the practicalities of politics in the foreign policies of the world’s most important players. I am convinced the book would be a tremendous contribution to an unexplored field of studies and invite keen attention. This book must find a place in the literature of international studies.

Takenori Horimoto, Professor, Gifu University, Japan

Shared values define sovereignty but realistically, sovereign nations preach but rarely fully practice their values in totality. Krishnan Srinivasan's superb anthology of Values in Foreign Policy practiced by key foreign policy countries is a first in comparative analysis of an increasingly vital area of foreign policy discourse, if not dispute. Its power rests on its realpolitik, yet penetrating insights, on an unending debate between Asian and Western values; thus a must- read and invaluable compass to all interested in what lies ahead in our rapidly changing global order.

Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong

Foreign policy is often understood to be driven above all by national interests. They do, indeed, matter greatly. Less well understood, but often equally important are national values colouring foreign policy preferences, for example India's attachment to non-alignment as between the super-powers during much of the Cold War. Krishnan Srinivasan, a former Indian foreign secretary and author on international relations, is ideally suited to exploring this proposition and to bringing together others who, in this volume, shed valuable light on it.

David M. Malone, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Rector of the United Nations University, Tokyo

A tremendously important work that explores the key values that drive the foreign policies of nations throughout the world. The book introduces the religions, cultures, and historical experiences that define national values, and explicates how foreign policy decisions that otherwise seem difficult to understand make perfect sense once one understands the values undergirding the decisions.

Michael Puett, Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology, Harvard University

Congratulations to the editors and their formidable range of contributors - Values in Foreign Policy is probably the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between values and foreign policy in different parts of the world. Investigating the prospect of a consensus on a universal set of values to which all countries can subscribe. Looking at it from the perspective of academics and practitioners at values and rights; contrasting Western values with Asian values - of crucial importance looking to the future, with the rise of Asia in the decades to come.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, House of Lords

Authors from across the globe scrutinize foreign policies to reveal untidy, partially obscured mosaics of raw interests, professed ideals and assumed values. Taking perspective from east-west geography, history and political thought, this powerful collection of essays offers a range of views on when and how interests, values and power jostle to fill the foreground or seek to stay in the shadows. Combining incisive commentary with analytical depth, the book will appeal to practitioners and scholars of the diplomatic art.

Dame Sandra Dawson, Professor Emerita of Management and Former Master of Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

This is an absolutely fascinating political history of Indonesia, with its emphasis on the values that from the beginning have shaped the nation’s foreign policy, especially the core value of never joining any alliances, and never allowing the establishment of foreign military bases on its territory. A very valuable work.

Bernard K. Gordon, Emeritus Professor, University of New Hampshire, USA

A rare compilation of wisdom in foreign policy! The book comes at a time when the process of foreign policymaking, be it in the East or the West, is suffering from dents of hybrid ideologies and fractured moral values. A fresh look into the structures of responsibility and liability; justice and equality; cooperation and trust; and integrity and diversity has become an epistemic need of our time. The book extraordinarily communicates the necessity of reconstructed values and presents a significant leap forward from the conventional politics and limits of foreign relations, in which the statist institutions have a monopoly of defining “ethics” and “values,” to the future of interdependence and common realities. Therefore, Values in Foreign Policy should be read by policymakers, practitioners, and politically sensitive minds to understand the complex evolution of and irrationalities in international relations. This magnificent and astonishing literature, which is a compilation of work of eighteen outstanding minds of our time, will indubitably enrich the existing discourses on politics and international relations

Shahab E. Khan, Professor in International Relations, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This is a timely and insightful collection of essays by major scholars on the vital but often neglected topic of the role of values in international politics. Erudite and often counter-intuitive, these essays are required reading.

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, Professor of the International Politics of Africa, University of Oxford

At a moment when nationalist myopia and self-regard drive states across the globe, this distinguished, broad-ranging volume offers a timely and commendably sophisticated engagement with the fundamental if always ambiguous place of values in shaping foreign policy - whether invoked to inspire idealism or mask expediency.

Sunil Khilnani, Professor of Politics and Director of the King's College London India Institute

This book constitutes a fundamental break-through in conventional political analyses, representing as it does, an exploration of the relationship between espoused national values and actual foreign policy interests and policies. […] This ground-breaking book could and should be required reading for students of international affairs. The chapters are usefully practical, as opposed to theoretical, as well as realistic and thus give the reader much to think about. Hopefully, it will become a text which is widely read and can be a basis for university coursework focused on real-life questions of the foundations of foreign policy activities among a wide range of important countries.

Peter Burleigh, former US ambassador to the UN, India and Sri Lanka

This ground-breaking book could and should be required reading for students of international affairs. The chapters are usefully practical, as opposed to theoretical, as well as realistic and thus give the reader much to think about

- Peter Burleigh, Retired US ambassador, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

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