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Title: Rearming India: Responses to Military Innovation in India since 1947
Authors: Bradstreet, Barret Francis
Advisors: Friedberg, Aaron L.
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: India
Subjects: International relations
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This study interprets major military reform campaigns in independent India to explain the worldwide diffusion of military technology, practices, and ideas. The dissertation explores military innovation by a specific focus on one latecomer to particular novel practices. What is puzzling about military innovation is when it fails to happen, when it happens very slowly, or it fails to meet expectations. Military innovation is different from other types of innovation in how often it happens, how quickly it unfolds, and how observers can judge its effectiveness. Since 1947, India has initiated significant revision of its overall military posture only a few times. Revision is rare because the armed services and the supporting infrastructure are massive and complex. In spite of this, Indian leaders initiated wide-ranging reforms in the early 1960’s, in the middle 1980’s, and in the first decade of the new century. Once initiated, projects of reform sometimes succeeded on their own terms, but at other times did not. This record presents an intermittent pattern of receptivity to novel military technologies and methods. This uneven spread of military techniques in India informs the larger question of the late development of military capacity. Why does military state of the art not spread more rapidly or smoothly, to India in particular but elsewhere also? The argument of the dissertation is that social and political factors in the recipient provide drivers and brakes. Specifically, predictable obstacles bar the smooth progress of reform. These come in two varieties: opposition from parties interested in the status quo and deficits in resources essential to sustainment and operation. Thus, expect to see reforms initiated and successfully executed only when such obstacles are systematically confronted. Effective military innovation requires that entrepreneurs modify the practices and techniques adopted to match social and political factors in the adopting state. Absent such tailoring and trail breaking, cognitive and institutional obstacles impede the adoption of novel techniques. The dissertation follows in three parts. First, chapters one and two build a broad view of the influence of social and political factors on the unfolding of military innovations across two centuries. Second, chapters three, four and five examine particular reform campaigns in India since 1947 as a means to validate or contradict the larger trends. Finally, the conclusion aims to reconcile the broad theory and the specific experience of India to build a clear picture of the dynamics of military innovation.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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