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By Anna Greenspan

India’s Nuclear Bomb and nationwide Security provides an analytic account of the dynamics of India's nuclear increase. It places ahead a brand new entire version, which matches past the vintage strategic version of accepting factors of arming behaviour, and comprises the dynamics in India’s nuclear programme. The middle argument of the booklet surrounds the query approximately India's defense concerns and their effect on India's nuclear coverage improvement.

Karsten Frey explores this analytic version by means of together with explanatory variables at the unit-level, the place pursuits are quite often with regards to symbolic, much less strategic values attributed to nuclear guns. those play an important position inside of India's household political celebration festival and between definite strain teams. additionally they impacted India's courting with different nations on non-proliferation concerns, for instance the concept that of the country's 'status' and 'prestige'.

Identifying the function of the strategic elite in picking India's nuclear direction, this publication additionally argues that one of many pivotal riding forces at the back of India's quest for the nuclear bomb is India's fight for overseas reputation and the powerful, frequently obsessive sensitivities of India's elite relating to 'acts of discrimination' or 'ignorance' by means of the West in the direction of India.

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Sample text

In constructing defensible postures to support their self-images, people must often rearrange their perceptions, evaluations, and opinions. To see that their decisions were correct may involve increasing the value they place on what they have achieved and devaluing what they sacrificed. By spreading apart the earlier alternatives and heavily weighting sunk costs, inertia and incrementalism are Power, interests, and India’s nuclear policy 27 encouraged. Each step in the process of developing a policy adds psychological pressures to take further steps.

National security is considered one of these interests but, deviating from conventional explanatory models, is not placed on the top of its preference system per se. Within the discourse of India’s strategic thinkers, the proper appreciation of the prestige/security duality of nuclear weapons was largely prevented by the alldominant, polarizing debate between idealist (Nehruvian) and realist worldviews. The idealist/realist divide, however, fails to explain why Nehru, who was India’s first Prime Minister, usually referred to as the mastermind of India’s idealist approach to foreign policy, actually paved the way for the country’s development of nuclear weapons by creating the necessary infrastructure.

As their argument goes, this tempering effect accounts for the very long period of abeyance between India’s first nuclear test in 1974, and its nuclear breakthrough and self-declaration as nuclear weapon state in 1998. Others point to the negative effects of public sentiment on the government’s strategic decision making. In their view, the nuclear breakthrough in 1998 was caused by partisan and electoral considerations of the ruling BJP-led coalition. While the effect of public opinion – whether tempering or provocative – on India’s nuclear course is unclear at this stage, an unambiguous assumption can be made about its positive effect on the status orientation of India’s nuclear policy.

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