Nepal’s Strategic Hedging Behaviour: 2008-2019

Gaurav Raja Dahal


Caught between the rising rival powers- India and China, Nepali foreign policy can be perceived as following the practice of strategic hedging where it is attempting to position itself in a way to maximize benefits while simultaneously defending against undesirable threats and dangers from both the rising powers. In the context of a small state like Nepal, strategic hedging implies consciously choosing to adopt mixed policies, which features both balancing and bandwagoning. This paper aims to understand how a ministate like Nepal formulates its foreign policy to address the power politics and applies economic pragmatism followed by smart power and nimble diplomacy to its advantage. This paper also aims to explain that strategic hedging can be followed by Nepal when there is an absence of immediate threat that might compel the state to ally with the power for protection. Through the lens of various realist theories, this paper analyzes that a mini state like Nepal can achieve its national interest and would either bandwagon with the rising power i.e., “China, or” it could try to balance against it supporting the current status quo i.e., India.


Balancing; Bandwagoning; Economic pragmatism; Hedging strategy; Nimble diplomacy

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Gaurav Raja Dahal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
© EScience Press. All Rights Reserved.