Comparing Kautilya with Sun-Zi, Nizam al-Mulk, Barani and Machiavelli

The book has articles by various authors and is edited by Michael Liebig and Saurabh Mishra. eSamskriti presents book introduction and index (courtesy IDSA) and a link to the IDSA site from where you can download a PDF version of the book.


This book is the product of a collaborative effort by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi; South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University; and Institute of South Asian Studies, National University Singapore. The volume contains papers exploring Kautilya’s Arthasastra in a transcultural perspective, comparing it with the thoughts of Sun-Zi, Nizam al-Mulk, Barani and Machiavelli. It is agreed that the field of modern International Relations (IR) and Political Theory is predominantly Eurocentric, and based on European sources of philosophy and history. But, nowadays, scholars have been exploring the possibility of a world intellectual history, as ideas are dynamic throughout temporal and geographical spaces. They transform, hybridise and travel long distances over a period of time in such a manner that they appear belonging to the place where we find them at a particular point of time. It is also intriguing to observe that India, with a long civilisational and philosophical history, is credited with no contribution to the evolution of the modern IR and Political Theory. Therefore, this volume explores the philosophical systems, thought-figures and ancient cultural spaces, on the path from India to Europe, looking for any possibility of Kautilya’s Arthasastra, the most comprehensive and systematic text available on art of governance from ancient India, having interacted and influenced the evolution of IR and Political Theory that are considered as originally European intellectual contributions. We note that the chapters in this book give ample and convincing reasons for initially believing in the Arthasastra’s value for the evolution of IR and Political Theory, and making further research on Indian contribution to the intellectual history of IR and Political Theory a desideratum.

Book Index has preface. Find below individual chapters with names of authors.

1. Introduction - Michael Liebig and Saurabh Mishra
2. Kautilya Redux? Re-use, Hybridity, Trans-cultural Flow and Resilience of the State in India - Subrata K. Mitra
3. Understanding Kautilya’s Arthasastra: Origination, Migration and Diffusion - Pradeep Kumar Gautam
4. Kautilya and Machiavelli in a Comparative Perspective - Michael Liebig
5. Arthasastra: Reflections on Thought and Theory - Medha Bisht
6. Rajadharma, Legitimacy and Sovereignty in the Arthasastra - Saurabh Mishra
7. Kautilya and Sun-Zi: Comparative Philosophical Analysis - M.S. Prathibha
8. Fatawa-ye-jahandari: Hybrid Political Theory in the Delhi Sultanate (Perso-Islamic and Endogenous Traditions of Statecraft in India) - Seyed Hossein Zarhani

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