Bhabani Sen Gupta
India and the Western India Ocean States: Towards Regional Cooperation and Development by Shanti Sadiq Ali and R.R. Ramchandani Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1982, 310 pp., 70.00
March-April 1982, volume 6, No 5

Very seldom do intellectuals run ahead of political actors, particularly in the sphere of international cooperation. Problems of regional cooper¬ation among countries located in the Indian Ocean littoral have received scant scholarly attention so far, largely be¬cause the political leaders of these countries have not pro¬ceeded beyond rhetorics to put together an infrastructure of regional cooperation. Even they are not to be overly blamed. All the Indian Ocean littoral states have more to do with the advanced industrialized nations of the world than with each other in the matter of economic, trade and technological col¬laboration. At the same time most, if not all, of these countries realize that econo¬mic cooperation among them is necessary to reduce their individual and collective de¬pendencies on the military and economic powers of the world. These powers use economic leverage no less than military prowess to extend their influence over the weaker developing countries of the Indian Ocean littoral, as in the Third World.

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