The traditional approaches to great power status – the intuitive criteria, an emphasis on warfare, and system-/global-level capabilities – have serious limitations. These approaches have ignored the implications of the expansion of the European states-system into a global one along with the simultaneous regionalization of world politics. Therefore, a threefold criterion for great power status is proposed – the presence of security-related and economic interests outside of a state’s home region, the requisite capabilities, and the demand for this status and its acceptance by other great powers and the regional states. India has emerged as a great power because it meets these criteria in Southeast Asia. India’s transformation from a South Asian power into one capable of shaping the regional order in Asia is of theoretical significance.