Mr. Donald Kirk
Specialization: Indian Foreign Policy
Home institution in US: Author and Journalist, Washington, D.C.
Host Institution in India: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi    
Start date/Month in India: September/October 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Mr. Donald Kirk has spent most of his career as a journalist beginning as a reporter on newspapers in Chicago and New York. He gravitated to Asia in the 1960s, first as a Fulbright student in India with a project focusing on the Indian media, and then as a correspondent in Southeast Asia. He reported from Indonesia in 1965-1977, and then from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He was based in Hong Kong for much of this period before moving to Tokyo as correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in 1971. He wrote two books from the Vietnam period, Wider War: The Struggle for Cambodia, Thailand and Laos (Praeger 1971), and Tell it to the Dead: Memories of a War (Burnham 1975), with an updated edition, Tell it to the Dead: Stories of a War (M.E. Sharpe 1996). He returned to the U.S. on a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and then was back in Asia reporting from Japan and Korea. While in Korea he wrote three books: Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung (M.E. Sharpe 1994), Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era (Palgrave MacMillan 2000) and Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine (Palgrave MacMillan 2009). As a 1994-1995 Fulbright Senior Scholar in the Philippines, he researched his book, Looted: the Philippines after the Bases (St. Martin’s Press 1998) and an enlarged edition entitled Philippines in Crisis (Anvil 2005). His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines: Far Eastern Economic Review, New Leader, The New York Times Magazine, The Reporter, Asia-Pacific Business and Technology Report. Mr. Kirk has received George Polk and Overseas Press Club (OPC) awards and OPC citations for his reporting from Asia. He is based in Washington, D.C. whence he travels frequently to Asia and Europe.

The purpose of Mr. Kirk’s Fulbright project, “India: The Evolving Struggle among Conflicting Powers,” is to analyze and explain Indian foreign policy in an era of conflict and shifting priorities on the Indian subcontinent. The project calls for interviews with experts in academe, government and politics on topics ranging from relations with Pakistan to efforts at negotiating with powers extending from the Middle East to Northeast Asia. India’s broadening ties with the U.S. is a primary area of interest as is Indian policy vis-à-vis China. India`s expanding commercial relations with Japan and Korea is also a central issue in view of rising investment by both those countries in critical industrial areas. At the core of the study is India’s need to rationalize and synchronize relations in an era of confrontation and rising conflict in which India navigates its own distinctive position.