The Council for Strategic and Defense Research is a New Delhi based think-tank that combines rigorous academic research with policy advocacy and strategic consultancy.

Based out of New Delhi — a key national capital in the emerging geopolitics of South Asia and Indo-Pacific — allows us to understand and help shape the ever-changing geo-political panorama of the region. We work on issues such as foreign policy, regional connectivity, defense strategy, intelligence, strategic technologies, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, climate change and energy security.

CSDR’s multidisciplinary network of research professionals and senior policy practitioners fuses incisive research with experiential knowledge. This collaboration underpins our programmatic activities — empowering us to conduct timely and independent analysis, produce policy relevant knowledge, and curate multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms — for governments, businesses, research endowments and other associated institutions.

Our work is guided by the following core principles:

Independent Research:

Our Research philosophy is a product of critical thinking, non-partisanship, methodological rigor and empirical analysis. It underpins everything we do. Our research products are created by a team of highly competent researchers who cut through the clutter, focussing on what really matters. Attuned to a changing policy environment, CSDR’s four research centres build resources in order to respond swiftly to research needs of our clients.

Policy Advocacy:

Through a comprehensive analysis of issues, CSDR facilitates optimal decision-making by providing policymakers with incisive advice and innovative solutions. Our annual foreign policy conclave, The Foreign Policy Chaupal, publications, and audio-visual products, cater to key actors at the highest levels in various government institutions and private entities. We also engage with a wider cohort of future leaders and researchers through training and education. In doing so, CSDR impacts all levels of the policy world.

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue:

CSDR considers Dialogue to be a fundamental intervening variable between research and policy advocacy. Our platforms understand and address multiple stakeholder priorities, bringing together members of the private and public sectors, civil society and academia. We organize Track II dialogues, seminars, workshops, expert consultations, media engagements, and research publications. CSDR’s platforms are designed to foster fair and open communication on some of the most complex issues in the region.

Our Vision

“Better policies are possible, regardless of the complexity of issues and context”

The Indo-Pacific is emerging as a theater of geopolitical conflict and cooperation. As states in the region walk a tightrope to balance their foreign policy goals, regional imperatives, and domestic priorities, global stakeholders want to understand these dynamics and identify areas of converging interests. Additionally, the alignment of the region with global development goals requires platforms that build upon and strengthen meaningful cooperation.

India is increasingly being recognized as a significant contributor to a safer, prosperous and more stable Indo-Pacific region. As India realizes its potential and expands its role in the region and beyond, policy actors are increasingly seeking counsel from a wider community of stakeholders. This calls for cross-disciplinary collaboration that results in the production of non-partisan, policy-relevant knowledge.

CSDR’s mandate is to attend to this call by producing innovative solutions that can help policy makers in India, and beyond, navigate the current regional and global churn. We aim to fulfill our vision by orienting academic research towards policy application and advocacy, creating inclusive multi-stakeholder platforms, and engaging with future leaders to shape regional peace and prosperity.