Sumitha Narayanan Kutty is a Leverhulme doctoral fellow in the Centre for Grand Strategy (CGS) at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She is also an adjunct research associate at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore and research fellow, Project SEPAD (Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation) at Lancaster University’s Richardson Institute. She works on issues related to security, foreign policy and rising powers with an empirical focus on South Asia, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific.
Sumitha’s doctoral work titled ‘Rising India and Military Intervention: Explaining the Post-Cold War Shift in Worldview’ is part of the “Interrogating Visions of a Post-Western World” programme at CGS. The study aims to contribute to our understanding of a critical non-Western view of the world order – the Indian view. It examines why India has shown reduced proclivity toward military intervention after the Cold War despite significant growth in material capabilities.
She is co-editor (with Rajesh Basrur) of India and Japan: Assessing the Strategic Partnership (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), has published in journals such as International Politics, The Washington Quarterly and Asia Policy and her expert commentary featured on Bloomberg, Channel News Asia, The Diplomat, The National Interest, Lawfare, South Asian Voices, The Hindu and Hindustan Times among other outlets. Sumitha has extensive fieldwork experience including in Iran, Israel, UAE, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the strategic island states of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. She has previous stints at think tanks RSIS (Singapore), the Takshashila Institution (India), World Resources Institute (USA), the Atlantic Council (USA) and worked as a broadcast journalist in India. Sumitha holds multiple degrees in journalism (St. Aloysius College and Asian College of Journalism, India) and a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University, USA.
Rising India and Military Intervention: Explaining the Post-Cold War Shift in Worldview
This research project aims to contribute to our understanding of a critical non-Western view of the world order – the Indian view. It examines the world’s largest democracy’s approach toward the use of force, particularly foreign military interventions. Why has India shown reduced proclivity toward military interventions after the Cold War despite significant growth in material capabilities? The study investigates the shift from India’s first worldview during the Cold War, i.e. a weak state with greater projection of force, to the second worldview of a less coercive rising power in the post-Cold War order, which contests the popular reading of rising power behaviour.
- International Security
- Foreign Policy Analysis
- Rising Powers
- South Asia
- Middle East
- Edited Books
- Journal Articles
- “Modi’s India and Japan: Nested Strategic Partnerships.” With Rajesh Basrur, International Politics 59:1, 2022, pp. 67-89.
- “Dealing with Differences: The Iran Factor in India-US Relations,” Asia Policy 14.1, January 2019.
- “Iran's Continuing Interests in Afghanistan,” The Washington Quarterly, June 2014.
- “Iran and Afghanistan: The Urgent Need for Inclusive Regional Diplomacy,” Asia Policy, Number 17, January 2014, pp. 40-46.
- Book Chapters
- “India’s Iran Policy: Civilisational Past, Complicated Present.” In Aparna Pande, ed., Routledge Handbook of South Asian Foreign Policy. Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2022.
- “India-China Rivalry and the Strategic Importance of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles,” in TV Paul, Rajesh Basrur and Anit Mukherjee (ed.), India-China Maritime Competition: The Security Dilemma At Sea (Cass Series: Naval Policy and History). New York: Routledge, 2019, pp. 111-136.
- Op-eds / Web Articles
- “Russia's War, India's Response in a Changing World Order,” Spotlight on Research (CGS Newletter), Centre for Grand Strategy, KCL, April 04, 2022.
- “Iran’s Chabahar Port: Betting Big on Eurasian Connectivity,” South Asian Voices, July 08, 2021.
- “The Quad: What It Is – And What It Is Not,” The Diplomat, March 24, 2021.
- “US-Iran: New Delhi must weigh its options carefully,” Hindustan Times, January 08, 2020.
- "Rouhani’s visit a reality check for Iran-India relations." Al-Monitor, March 06, 2018.
- "A time of strategic partnerships." With Rajesh Basrur. The Hindu, September 20, 2017.
- “ISIS's Plan to Terrorize India.” The National Interest, July 20, 2016.
- “Iran’s Infrastructure Projects: India, China Competing?” RSIS Commentaries, January 22, 2016.
- “Why Iran Won’t Leave Afghanistan.” Lawfare, August 31, 2014.
- Dr Walter Ladwig
- Prof Joe Maiolo