Harsh V Pant

Harsh V Pant

Professor of International Relations at King’s College London and Director of Research at Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi.

Decoding Rishi Sunak’s High-Stakes Move: Boldness or Desperation?

Decoding Rishi Sunak's High-Stakes Move: Boldness or Desperation
British politics has once again taken a turn with the cabinet reshuffle ushered in by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this week. The sacking of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary and the return of former Prime Minister David Cameron as Foreign Secretary can be viewed both as a desperate gambit by a flailing leader to restore his leadership within and outside the party as well as a dramatic step to redraw the contours of the emerging political contest ahead of elections next year. Whichever way you look at it, the spotlight is now back on Sunak as he comes to grip with the consequences of the decisions he has made.

Addressing the Israel-Hamas Conflict: The Limitations of Technology in Border Security

Technology is essential to border management. But, as the events of October 7 show, a delicate balance between its use and the presence of troops is needed. Israel-Hamas Conflict Even as the Israel-Hamas crisis shows no signs of de-escalating, the ease with which the much-touted Israeli border defence systems fell apart on October 7 continues to challenge observers and practitioners as they seek a better understanding of what really happened. In one swoop, Hamas took down the technology-driven, modern, expensive, and high-end fencing systems called the “Iron Wall”, which the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had set up along 65 km of their border with Gaza in 2021, to fend off infiltration.
Technology is essential to border management. But, as the events of October 7 show, a delicate balance between its use and the presence of troops is needed. Israel-Hamas Conflict Even as the Israel-Hamas crisis shows no signs of de-escalating, the ease with which the much-touted Israeli border defence systems fell apart on October 7 continues to challenge observers and practitioners as they seek a better understanding of what really happened. In one swoop, Hamas took down the technology-driven, modern, expensive, and high-end fencing systems called the “Iron Wall”, which the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had set up along 65 km of their border with Gaza in 2021, to fend off infiltration.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: A Decade of Challenges and Global Ambitions

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Reaffirming his nation's commitment to continue pouring billions of dollars into the economies of developing countries as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - the "project of the century" - enters its second decade, Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined earlier this week at the BRI forum that "China can only do well when the world is doing well... When China does well, the world will get even better." More significantly, and perhaps expectedly, he took aim at the West when he suggested that "we stand against unilateral sanctions, economic coercion, decoupling, and supply chain disruption." 

As the Israel-Hamas Situation Escalates, Indian Diplomacy Feels the Strain

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As tensions continue to escalate in the Middle East, diplomacy too has picked up pace with US President Joe Biden deciding to visit Israel to assess Israeli plans. After the attack on a Gaza hospital last night left 500 dead and amid reports of an impending Israeli ground offensive, there are growing concerns about the humanitarian toll and its long term costs. 

G20 and India’s Foreign Policy: Exploring a new Link

G20 and India’s Foreign Policy: Exploring a new Link
As the G20 summit successfully concluded in New Delhi last week, it managed to generate some positive headlines for India globally. Even India’s staunchest critics had to concede that contrary to their expectations, New Delhi managed to pull off a successful summit at a time when geopolitical and developmental fault-lines have been sharpening by the day. Despite the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin (and perhaps because of it), a large part of the world agreed and put its stamp on India’s global developmental priorities. A strong message has gone out from New Delhi that India is now, more than ever, willing to lead from the front and shedding its perpetual reticence of yore.