Elliott School Research Professor of International Affairs, Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies; and Director of the Rising Powers Initiative, Deepa Ollapally, has been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of State’s Embassy in India and the Smith Richardson Foundation for two projects spanning from 2020-21.
Her project, “Shared Values and Worldviews in US-India Relations,” is the outcome of her Indo-Pacific expertise and the Sigur Center staff’s dedicated research & funding support to its affiliated faculty, scholars, and MA Asian Studies students. The grant is part of the DOS' efforts to strengthen ties between the U.S. and India through exchanges and programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. American experts on U.S.-India relations will participate in a series of seminars and workshops organized by the Sigur Center and Christ University in Bangalore - India’s Silicon Valley. The partnership will connect both American and Indian experts across a wide swath of industries to reach a more multifaceted understanding of the challenges faced by both countries.
Dr. Ollapally's other project, “Big Power Competition for Influence in the Indian Ocean Region,” will be administered by the Rising Powers Initiative and result in an eponymous book. Dr. Ollapally will assess the changing patterns of geopolitical influence by major powers in the Indo-Pacific during the 2010s, focusing on the rivalry between the U.S. and China, in addition to the relationships between states, such as India, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and others in the Indian Ocean region. She plans to conduct extensive fieldwork in Asia to decipher the way in which the “balance of influence” is heading, hedging, and China's unprecedented rise in the Indian Ocean. Dr. Ollapally expressed that "There's a profusion of work coming out on the Indo-Pacific, but it is overly focused on the Pacific side, giving short shrift to the Indian Ocean side. I want to fill that gap in the literature and policy orientation.”