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Sandra Destradi

Jean Monnet/GGP Fellow









Biographical Notes

Since 10/2015, Sandra Destradi is Substitute Professor of International Relations and Regional Governance, Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg. She obtained her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hamburg.  She is a Senior Research Fellow at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies / Institute of Asian Studies (currently on leave). 

Her research interests include the role of rising powers in international politics; regional powers and regional security governance; third-party intervention and mediation in intra-state conflicts; and India’s foreign and security policy as well as international relations in South Asia.

She is the author of Indian Foreign and Security Policy in South Asia: Regional Power Strategies (Routledge 2012). Her work has appeared in Review of International Studies, Democratization, Asian Survey, Civil Wars, Journal of Policy Modeling and other academic journals as well as in more policy-oriented journals such as The Washington Quarterly.


Research Project

Reluctant Hegemons: Explaining India’s and Germany’s Approaches to Regional Governance

The project asks why potential regional leaders are often reluctant in their regional policies and what the consequences of their reluctance are for regional governance.

To this end, the project compares India and Germany, which have unequivocally emerged as the regional powers in South Asia and Europe, respectively. Despite radically diverging context conditions – with Europe being the most integrated and South Asia the arguably less integrated region in the world – these two countries have displayed a strikingly similar reluctance to make use of their predominance in terms of power capabilities to emerge as leading actors within their regions and to shape regional governance mechanisms.

The project focuses on the conceptualisation of reluctance and links it with theoretical discussions on leadership and hegemony in International Relations. It aims to develop a range of hypotheses on the causes for reluctance and test them for selected cases in India’s and Germanys’ foreign and security policies. Finally, it aims to discuss the impact of reluctance on regional governance in differently institutionalised regional settings.