India's Nuclear Bomb and National Security

India's Nuclear Bomb and National Security

by Karsten Frey


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India’s Nuclear Bomb and National Security gives an analytic account of the dynamics of India's nuclear build up. It puts forward a new comprehensive model, which goes beyond the classic strategic model of accepting motives of arming behaviour, and incorporates the dynamics in India’s nuclear programme. The core argument of the book surrounds the question about India's security considerations and their impact on India's nuclear policy development.

Karsten Frey explores this analytic model by including explanatory variables on the unit-level, where interests are generally related to symbolic, less strategic values attributed to nuclear weapons. These play a significant role within India's domestic political party competition and among certain pressure groups. They also impacted India's relationship with other countries on non-proliferation matters, for example the concept of the country's 'status' and 'prestige'.

Identifying the role of the strategic elite in determining India's nuclear course, this book also argues that one of the pivotal driving forces behind India's quest for the nuclear bomb is India's struggle for international recognition and the strong, often obsessive sensitivities of India's elite regarding 'acts of discrimination' or 'ignorance' by the West towards India.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415544481
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 04/29/2009
Series: Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author

Karsten Frey is Research Fellow at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, IBEI. His research focus is on issues of global nuclear proliferation.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables     xi
Acknowledgements     xii
List of acronyms and abbreviations     xiii
Introduction     1
Nuclear weapons and national interests     7
Power, interests, and India's nuclear policy     9
Security, interests, and power     9
Security as national interest     10
Status seeking as national interest     18
Between security and status: a general model of India's nuclear policy     21
Cognitive biases and strategy     24
Elite perception and India's nuclear course: tracking the empirical evidence     28
India's strategic elite     28
The dynamics of public opinion     33
The unit of analysis: elite, the public, and the press     34
India's elite: between diversity of opinion and bomb lobbying     35
The critical years: changing attitudes on the bomb     36
Towards national consensus     43
Some trends in India's nuclear discourse     44
Structure and process of India's nuclear policymaking     47
The dynamics of nuclear politics     47
Nuclear authorities     48
Nuclear science     60
Nuclear politics     70
Nuclear weapons and India's security     77
Structural proliferation incentives in the South Asian region     79
The structure of India's regional strategic environment     79
India's military-strategic thinkers     88
The 'diabolic enemy': elite perception of Indo-Pakistan relations     94
Nuclearizing the bilateral dialogue     94
After Pokhran II: learning to live with Pakistan's bomb     99
The China factor in India's strategic thinking     111
The emergence of Sino-Indian strategic relationship     111
Elite perception and the Chinese threat     113
Beyond security: nuclear weapons and national prestige     123
India's self-image as emerging power     125
Elite perception, nuclear weapons, and international status     125
The emerging debate     126
From prestige to security and back again     130
Axiomatic arguments     133
Joining the 'nuclear club'     136
Consolidating India's nuclear status     138
India as an emerging power: prepared ground     141
The 'colonialist' image: Indo-US relations     143
US non-proliferation pressures and Indian sensitivities     143
The USA and the international non-proliferation regime     147
The Strobe Talbott mission     149
From non-proliferation to test ban     153
India-US relations after the tests     155
Paradigm shift in Indo-US relations     156
Indo-US relations during the 2002 Kashmir crisis     158
The emerging Indo-US global partnership     162
The symbol of 'injustice': the international non-proliferation regime     164
The emergence of the non-proliferation debate     164
The period of unambiguous ambiguity     169
Escalating rhetoric on the international non-proliferation debate     173
Debates on the tentative Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty     179
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, 1996     181
The non-proliferation debate in the post-Pokhran period     187
Joining the club and closing the door     189
Concluding the period of nuclear consolidation     190
Conclusion     192
Explaining India's decision to 'go nuclear'     192
Detaching strategic thought from security     195
Nuclear weapons and India's international status     197
Nuclear weapons and India's image of itself     200
Psychological bias in India's strategic discourse      205
Outlook     209
List of cited newspaper articles     212
Notes     217
Bibliography     221
Index     227

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