Kautilya and Non-Western IR Theory

  • Deepshikha Shahi

Part of the Global Political Thinkers book series (GPT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Deepshikha Shahi
    Pages 1-12
  3. Deepshikha Shahi
    Pages 127-143
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 145-167

About this book


The ancient Indian text of Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra comes forth as a valuable non-Western resource for understanding contemporary International Relations (IR). However, Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra largely suffers from the problem of ‘presentism’, whereby present-day assumptions of the dominant theoretical models of Classical Realism and Neorealism are read back into it, thereby disrupting open reflections on Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra which could retrieve its ‘alternative assumptions’ and ‘unconventional traits’. This book attempts to enable Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra to break free from the problem of presentism – it does so by juxtaposing the elements of continuity and change that showed up at different junctures of the life-history of both ‘Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra’ and ‘Eurocentric IR’. The overall exploratory venture leads to a Kautilyan non-Western eclectic theory of IR – a theory which moderately assimilates miscellaneous research traditions of Eurocentric IR, and, in addition, delivers a few innovative features that could potentially uplift not only Indian IR, but also Global IR.

Deepshikha Shahi is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Delhi, India. She previously studied at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research/Käte Hamburger-Kolleg, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She is the author of Advaita as a Global International Relations Theory.


Kautilya Political Realist extra-political Realist realpolitik moralpolitik Aśoka Kautilyan Buddhist Moral philosophy Social Constructivism Indian IR Global IR Arthaśāstra Sāṃkhya Yoga Lokāyata commonalities non-Western IR

Authors and affiliations

  • Deepshikha Shahi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

Bibliographic information