Regimes At Work: The Nonproliferation Order And Indian Nuclear Policy
This thesis claims that by constituting a certain range of possible identities for countries, the nuclear nonproliferation regime facilitated India's forging of non-weaponized nuclear deterrence and its decision to go 'formally nuclear' in 1998. The regime's definition of the nuclear problem and its categorization of states into Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) structured the threat environment facing India. India responded with a deterrence posture that both violated and employed the regime's norms. Its 1974 'Peaceful Nuclear Explosion' for instance, played on the regime's identification of a nuclear test with the possession of weapons, while challenging its attempt to restrict nuclear knowledge. The regime also served as a resource for actors within India who were advocates for the nuclear program. In 1974, domestic and international audiences were reminded of the developmental promise of nuclear power. By the end of the century, the strategic space that India had occupied between the categories of NWS and NNWS was rapidly shrinking. Perceiving a window of opportunity, India resorted once again to nuclear testing in May 1998 in order to move closer to NWS status. This work investigates the ways in which the nonproliferation regime impacted on India's nuclear policy, with France and South Africa as secondary cases. It situates itself at the intersection of the domestic and the international spheres, while challenging the separation between the two. It focuses on the processes through which international norms constitute national identity, thereby defining national interest and molding national policies. While the project stems from a dissatisfaction with theories of nuclear proliferation, the argument should extend to several issue-areas. By the end of the twentieth century, terrorism had emerged as a threat to rival nuclear peril. The evolution of an international counter-terrorism regime was accelerated. This work tries to draw out lessons from the career of the nonproliferation regime for the counter-terrorism regime.
Peter J. Katzenstein (chair) Mary F. Katzenstein Dietram Scheufele Christopher R. Way
American Institute of Indian Studies
nuclear; international relations; india
dissertation or thesis