French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the first conference of the International Solar Alliance, a cooperative effort their countries launched in 2015. India hopes to use its role in the organization to enhance its soft power in developing countries.
Since gaining independence in 1947, India has aspired to be a leader in the developing world. Its strategy for achieving that goal has traditionally relied on what political scientist Joseph Nye calls "soft power": exerting influence through attraction rather than coercion. India used the legacy of its nonviolent freedom movement to increase its influence abroad -- particularly among newly independent colonies in Africa and Asia -- during the first decades following its independence. And after shifting its focus to trade liberalization and integration with advanced economies over the past quarter-century, India today is once again trying to make inroads with developing countries, this time using solar power....
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