Author Biography

After completing an M.A. in political science, Melanie Hanif worked at the German Foreign Office where she facilitated a training course for diplomats from Afghanistan. Currently she is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hamburg. Furthermore, she works as a researcher in the Regional Powers Network at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies. Her doctoral thesis investigates regional conflict in South Asia. Ms. Hanif may be contacted at: hanif@giga-hamburg.de.



Subject Area Keywords

Conflict studies, Foreign internal defense, International relations, Regional conflict, Southeast Asia, Stabilization and reconstruction


This article focuses on the regional requirements for a pacification of Afghanistan. For this purpose, Afghanistan is analytically "reframed" as part of South Asia. The hypothesis is that India is the only regional actor that might possess both the incentives and the capabilities to deal with the negative security externalities emanating from Afghanistan.In South Asia, material characteristics such as the delineation of the region and its power polarity are unclear. India's role within the region is even more controversial. By examining India's role within its security environment, this paper will suggest how this lack of clarity could be remedied. In light of the disputes between India and Pakistan and between Pakistan and Afghanistan, India's involvement in the Afghan conflict is probably the most critical test case for India's leadership potential. The following section elaborates a theoretical framework based on Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) and the concept of regional hegemony as one form of regional order.