Shivshankar Menon > Chairman


Ambassador Shivshankar Menon is currently a Visiting Professor at Ashoka University, India; Chair of the Ashoka Centre for China Studies; Chairman, Advisory Board, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi; Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Social and Economic Progress (formerly Brookings India); Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore; Member, Board of Trustees, International Crisis Group; and, a Distinguished Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, New York.

He was previously National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Jan 2010-May 2014; Foreign Secretary of India, October 2006-July 2009; and has served as the Indian Ambassador or High Commissioner to China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Israel.

In 2016 he published Choices; Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy (Brookings & Penguin Random House, 2016). He has been a Fisher Family Fellow at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, 2015 and Richard Wilhelm Fellow at MIT in 2015. He was chosen one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2010.

Legitimacy and Authority in Xi’s China
27 Jan 2022

This article explores the sources of legitimacy in Chinese civilisation. While religion played a relatively minor role in China as a source of legitimacy for regimes, history, culture

Internal Drivers of China’s External Behaviour
06 Dec 2021

While external factors are useful in understanding a country’s behaviour, they are not sufficient to account for many foreign policy decisions made by China’s leaders. Domestic politics

'India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present,' Amb. Shivshankar Menon
04 Jun 2021

This Webinar will feature Amb. Shivshankar Menon in conversation with Chairman-Pathfinder Foundation, Amb. Bernard Goonetilleke.

Interview: Shivshankar Menon On His New Book ‘India And Asian Geopolitics’
26 May 2021

Ambassador Menon has also served as India’s Ambassador to China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Israel.

Shivshankar Menon: ‘Post-Covid, everyone will be diminished. We have to handle our problems competently… not do image management’
24 May 2021

As the centre-stage of geopolitics shifts to Asia, with a more assertive China, Menon’s new book, India and Asian Geopolitics, is a “plea” for India to engage with the world, particularly Asia.

India and UK can build up ties without EU’s influence, says Shivshankar Menon
19 May 2021

BRITAIN’S exit from the EU may have provided the impetus for the UK and India to “build up” their ties in many new ways.

India’s Unique Situation: Talking to Shivshankar Menon
13 May 2021

How might both India and Pakistan come to better recognize their own self-interest in working together?

A Conversation with Ambassador Shivshankar Menon: India and Asian Geopolitics, The Past, Present
07 May 2021

In his new book, Ambassador Menon makes a strong case for India’s growing importance on the global stage and its pivotal role in the new Asian order.

'India's way forward is to engage': Shiv Shankar Menon
05 May 2021

Former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon’s new book, India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present, makes an unusual request of the reader

The Crisis in India-China Relations
15 Dec 2020

This paper discusses the present crisis occasioned by China’s behaviour on the border since spring 2020, why we have come to this pass, the consequences that might follow

League of Nationalists
11 Aug 2020

How Trump and Modi Refashioned the U.S.-Indian Relationship

China expects us to behave the way China would!
30 Jun 2020

And this mirror imaging is the most dangerous thing because it leads to tremendous misunderstandings.

This Could Be Massive Escalation by China to Fundamentally Alter Status Quo: Former NSA
13 Jun 2020

Former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon speaks to Karan Thapar on the real picture that would emerge if reports of China's ingress are true.

India & China in the Post-Covid World
01 Jun 2020

For India and China, in many respects the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated preexisting trends. The world was already in flux, between orders, before 2019 when the COVID19 pandemic struck. But it has also created a new reality, particularly within their polities and societies, and will have effects on their relationship.

China & Asia’s Changing Geopolitics
15 Jan 2020

There is a disruption in the distribution of power in the world today. The world as a whole is multipolar economically, unipolar militarily if tending away from that, and politically confused. But while the US is still the only power capable of projecting force around the world and the world is unipolar militarily, the situation in Asia is evolving rapidly.

Worse China-US relations: An Indian Review
08 Jul 2019

Effect of the trade war between China and the US on India

India and China in the New Situation
14 Jan 2019

The world today is between orders. The so-called “rule-based liberal international order” — which was neither liberal nor particularly orderly for most of us — is no longer attractive to those who created and managed the order from WWII until the 2008 global economic crisis.

The State of India’s National Security
22 Sep 2018

Happymon Jacob talks to Ambassador Shiv Shankar Menon about the state India’s national security.

Book Review: The China Dossier
27 Jul 2018

Book Review

Strategic Underpinnings of China’s Foreign Policy
15 Jan 2018
Strategic Underpinnings of China’s Foreign Policy

What the strategic underpinnings of China’s foreign policy are, depend on one’s theory of the case. It depends on what foreign policy is considered to be, what weight is given to personality, perception, structures and other factors in making and determining foreign policy.

Book Release| Tansen Sen: India, China and the World: A Connected History
12 Jan 2018

Oxford University Press, India, 2017

IPM Induction 2017
01 Aug 2017

The only way to deal with the Chinese is directly
12 Jul 2017

As the Doklam spat between Beijing and New Delhi flares, the former NSA and old China hand says the neighbours need a new strategic dialogue to...

Current Stand-Off an Attempt by China to Change the Status Quo at Tri-Junction
09 Jul 2017

India’s former NSA, who has been involved in negotiations during earlier border incidents, says the difference this time is that the Chinese want India to...

Peace Prevails but...
20 Dec 2016

Shivsankar Menon discusses Indo-China Relations

Choices: Inside the Making of India's Foreign Policy
25 Nov 2016

Shivshankar Menon gives an insider’s account of the negotiations, discussions and assessments that went into the making of five pivotal choices in India’s recent history. These include the decision not to use overt military force against Pakistan after 26/11; the civil nuclear deal with the United States; the border agreement with China; the response to the last months of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war; and the thinking that underlay India’s No First Use nuclear policy. Drawing on his long and distinguished career as a diplomat holding critical positions in India’s external affairs ministry and in the prime minister’s office, Menon considers each situation against the backdrop of India’s evolving definition of her place in the changing global landscape.

The China Conundrum
27 May 2016

How do we interpret China’s actions today and what is Chinese behaviour likely to be in the future? This analysis suggests that the rise of China promises an extended period of political and security instability, tension and jockeying among powers in Asia

Studying China
12 Nov 2015

As the India-China relationship becomes more important as a result of the rise of both countries, the potential impact and significance of China studies becomes ever greater.

चीन का अध्ययन
12 Nov 2015

चीन अध्ययन संस्थान द्वारा आयोजित ‘चीन अध्ययन अखिल भारतीय सम्मेलन’ एक महत्वपूर्ण अवसर है। इस उपलक्ष पर भारत में चीन का अध्ययन कर रहे लोग विशेषज्ञों के साथ अपने काम की समीक्षा करते हैं, हमारे सहयोगियों से मिलने और भारत में चीन के अध्ययन की समीक्षा करते हैं।

Dealing With China
05 Aug 2015

Kautilya Today
18 Oct 2014

India and the USA
20 Sep 2013

Science and Security
03 Mar 2011



Current Positions

    • Chairman, Advisory Board, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi
    • Distinguished Fellow, The Brookings Institution, Washington DC 
    • Member, Board of Trustees, International Crisis Group
    • Distinguished Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, New York

Past Positions

    • National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Jan 2010-May 2014.
    • Foreign Secretary of India, October 2006-July 2009.
    • High Commissioner of India to Pakistan, July 2003-Sep 2006.
    • Ambassador of India to China, August 2000-July 2003.
    • High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, August 1997-August 2000.
    • Ambassador of India to Israel, May 1995-August 1997.
    • Previous postings in China, Japan, Austria, and to the IAEA and the Indian Atomic Energy Commission


    • MA in Ancient Indian History, Delhi University, 1970
    • BA (Honours), History, Delhi University, 1968.
    • Diploma and Certificate in Chinese Language, Department of Chinese and Japanese Studies, Delhi University, 1968-1971

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