Since the early 1900s, Eurasia has been the cockpit of global rivalry. The major showdowns in international affairs have been intense clashes over control of the Eurasian continent and its maritime approaches. Whenever the Land Powers have tried to unify the super-continent, the world’s strategic core, the preeminent sea powers have sought to keep Eurasia split. The hot wars, cold wars, and proxy wars that characterized the twentieth century, were merely chapters in this longer story. The American rivalry with China is now playing out against the same tableau. Halford Mackinder’s 1904 thesis rested on the premise that a high stakes struggle over Eurasia and the world beyond, was imminent. The brutal history subsequently, would show how right he was. This talk highlights the German attempts to connect Eurasia using Railways in the beginning of twentieth century and how its Berlin-Baghdad rail project that threatened the predominance of sea routes in plying global trade became one of the reasons for World War I.
About the Speaker
Dr. Atul Bhardwaj is currently a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. He is an Adjunct fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies. He has been Visiting Fellow in the Department of International Politics at City University of London, Senior Fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research and Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). He holds a master’s degree in War Studies from King's College, London and doctorate in History from Ambedkar University, Delhi. He is the author of India-America Relations (1942-62): Rooted in Liberal International Order, Routledge London (2019). Dr. Bharadwaj has been writing a strategic affairs column for the Economic and Political Weekly since 2013. He has several publications in national and international journals/media.
About the Chair & Discussant
Prof. Siddiq Wahid earned his PhD in the field of Inner Asian and Altaic Studies at Harvard University, where he specialized in Tibetan and Central Asian Political History. He is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Himalayan Studies at Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence Deemed University. He is also affiliated to ICS as an Adjunct Fellow and a Visiting Professor at the University of Ladakh in Leh. His other recent engagements have been that of Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), Director of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies at the University of Kashmir, the Maharaja Gulab Singh Chair Professor in Modern History at the University of Jammu and he was the Founding Vice Chancellor of Islamic University of Science & Technology, Jammu & Kashmir. Professor Wahid has published widely in India and the United States His latest book-sized publication, as Contributing Editor, is an anthology titled Tibet’s Relations with the Himalaya, Academic Books (2018).
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16th All India Conference of China Studies (AICCS)
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