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Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era: Regional Powers and International Conflict: Regional Powers and International Conflict (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics) [Kindle Edition]

Vipin Narang
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The world is in a second nuclear age in which regional powers play an increasingly prominent role. These states have small nuclear arsenals, often face multiple active conflicts, and sometimes have weak institutions. How do these nuclear states—and potential future ones—manage their nuclear forces and influence international conflict? Examining the reasoning and deterrence consequences of regional power nuclear strategies, this book demonstrates that these strategies matter greatly to international stability and it provides new insights into conflict dynamics across important areas of the world such as the Middle East, East Asia, and South Asia.

Vipin Narang identifies the diversity of regional power nuclear strategies and describes in detail the posture each regional power has adopted over time. Developing a theory for the sources of regional power nuclear strategies, he offers the first systematic explanation of why states choose the postures they do and under what conditions they might shift strategies. Narang then analyzes the effects of these choices on a state’s ability to deter conflict. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, he shows that, contrary to a bedrock article of faith in the canon of nuclear deterrence, the acquisition of nuclear weapons does not produce a uniform deterrent effect against opponents. Rather, some postures deter conflict more successfully than others.

Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era considers the range of nuclear choices made by regional powers and the critical challenges they pose to modern international security.

Editorial Reviews


"Narang adds importantly to the scholarly understanding of nuclear posture in a way that can inform policy. He studies an important topic, shatters false assumptions, provides insightful and useful new conceptual categories, offers apparently powerful theoretical explanations of important behaviors, provides a valuable set of case studies, and opens doors for additional scholarly research. . . . The many avenues for additional research it suggests and worrisome possibilities it surfaces testify to the analytic strength and policy ambition of this important book."--Douglas B. Shaw, Arms Control Today

From the Back Cover

"This excellent book offers a novel typology of nuclear postures and a theory that explains why states adopt certain postures but not others, before assessing the consequences of postures for deterrence. An exemplary blend of theory and qualitative and quantitative evidence, its conclusions have wide-ranging implications for the way we think about nuclear deterrence."--Alexander Downes, George Washington University

"This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the nuclear challenges that we currently face. Narang argues that the theories developed during the Cold War cannot explain the nuclear policies of regional powers. To fill this important gap, he convincingly lays out three distinct nuclear postures available to regional powers and he questions conventional wisdom to show that a state's nuclear posture significantly influences its deterrence effect."--Charles Glaser, George Washington University

"With the end of the Cold War, the nuclear postures of countries other than the United States and Russia are increasingly central for theory and policy, but our knowledge of these postures has been deficient. Showing that states have tailored their stances to different internal and external situations, Narang combines rich empirical research and careful theorizing to add greatly to our understanding of deterrence."--Robert Jervis, author of The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution

"Vipin Narang's study of the causes and consequences of different states' nuclear weapons postures is a significant contribution to the literature on the causes of military doctrine, as well as the literature on both nuclear proliferation and deterrence theory. Narang's interpretations are novel and thought provoking, and he skillfully combines rich case study work with sophisticated statistical tests."--Scott D. Sagan, Stanford University

Product Details

  • File Size: 2747 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0691159831
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I1OV9MK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #887,062 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creative work! October 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book and should be required reading for anybody who lives in or thinks about Indo-Pak security. It's clear India needs to evolves a response to sub-conventional agression (e.g. 26/11, Delhi Parliament) that does not involve armored brigades rolling across Rajasthan and into Sindh... But what is that response? Not sure but it does seem profoundly clear that (I) India also switching to a first use policy would not be needed and indeed could be disastrous for overall security and (II) assured retaliation of Pakistani population centers is no way to deter these kinds of sub conventional attack.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The author is tackling his subject in a new and ... October 2, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author is tackling his subject in a new and logical way. I hope his logic withstands the test of time and all the trouble in Asia. His categories seem to capture many of the present situations. Will they match new emerging situations? Time will tell.
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