This book examines in detail the strategic relevance of the Arthashastra. Attributed to the fourth century B.C., this classical treatise on state and statecraft rests at the intersection of political theory and international relations.

Adopting a hermeneutic approach, the book discusses certain homologies related to concepts such as power, order, and morality. Underlining the conceptual value of the Arthashastra and classical texts such as Hitopdesha and Pancatantra, this volume highlights the non-western perspectives related to diplomacy and statecraft. It shows how a comparative analysis of these texts reveals a continuity rather than a change in the styles, tactics, and political strategies. The book also showcases the value these ancient texts can bring to the study of contemporary international relations and political theory.

This volume will be of interest to students, scholars and teachers of political studies, Indian political thought, and philosophy, South Asian studies, political theory and international relations.

chapter |8 pages


part I|53 pages

A text on philosophy and strategy

chapter 1|22 pages

Introducing Arthashastra

Philosophy, concepts, practice

chapter 2|16 pages

The philosophical moorings

Dharmashastra and nitishastra

chapter 3|13 pages

The strategic undertones

Engaging the end-means debate

part II|77 pages

Exploring the feasible and desirable in Arthashastra

chapter 4|14 pages

Morality, power and order

Concepts in international relations

chapter 5|16 pages

Morality, order and power

A systems analysis

chapter 6|22 pages

The Kautilyan state and statecraft

Contextualizing desirability

chapter 7|23 pages

The Kautilyan state and statecraft

Conceptualizing feasibility

part III|30 pages

Learnings from Arthashastra

chapter 8|24 pages

State and statecraft

Reflections on non-western vocabularies

chapter 9|4 pages