Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is a Senior Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at Observer Research Foundation (ORF). She is also a senior Asia defence writer for The Diplomat. Rajagopalan joined ORF after a five-year stint at the Indian National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) (2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Director. Prior to joining the NSCS, she was a Research Officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University, in Taichung, Taiwan in 2012.

She is the author of four books: Nuclear Security in India (2015), Clashing Titans: Military Strategy and Insecurity among Asian Great Powers (2012), The Dragon’s Fire: Chinese Military Strategy and Its Implications for Asia (2009), and Uncertain Eagle: US Military Strategy in Asia (2009). She has also co-authored and edited five other books, including Space Policy 2.0: Commerce, Policy, Security and Governance Perspectives (2017), Nuclear Security in India (Second Edition) (2016), Iran Nuclear Deal: Implications of the Framework Agreement (2015), and Awaiting Launch: Perspectives on the Draft ICoC for Outer Space Activities (2014). Her research articles have appeared in edited volumes, and in peer reviewed journals such as India Review, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Air and Space Power Journal, International Journal of Nuclear Law, Strategic Analysis, and CLAWS Journal. Other writings have appeared in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Journal of Peace Research, and Contemporary South Asia and she has also contributed essays to newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Economic Times, and The Pioneer.

Rajagopalan has lectured at Indian military and policy institutions such as the Defence Service and Staff College in Wellington, National Defence College in New Delhi, Army War College in Mhow, and the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi. She has also been invited to speak at international fora including the UN COPUOS (Vienna), Conference on Disarmament (Geneva), UNIDIR (Geneva), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the European Union.

Last Updated: June 12, 2018



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One year ago, the Chinese and Indian armies faced off at Doklam, a disputed Himalayan area on the border between China, India, and the tiny kingdom of Bhutan. While the two sides didn’t go to war over the border as they did in 1962, tensions were...