The conventional wisdom, based on realist premises, is that nuclear weapons are an irreversible reality in South Asia, and that efforts to denuclearize the subcontinent are a futile endeavor. As a result, real nuclear arms control in South Asia remains elusive and scholars continue focusing their efforts on how to achieve crisis stability and deterrence stability in future Indo-Pakistani confrontations. However, they tend to analyze India and Pakistan’s nuclear diplomacy as if the nuclear competition occurred in complete isolation from the changing dynamics of the international social environment.
Using a constructivist model, this study brings nuclear arms control and disarmament back into the debates on the future of Indo-Pakistani relations. Constructivism recognizes the independent impact of international norms, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Norm (NNPN), on India and Pakistan’s nuclear behavior. Even though the NNPN does not legally bind them, it is reinforced at the global level, and may lead the South Asian rivals to move in the direction of nuclear arms control and disarmament, thus reducing the costs, dangers, and risks of an eternal strategic rivalry. After examining the main tenets of constructivism in international relations, the works delves into the proliferation debate, discussing nuclear reversal and U.S. policy toward the subcontinent since the G. W. Bush administration. It looks at the prospects for nuclear arms control and disarmament in South Asia after the U.S.-India nuclear deal of 2008, and the nuclear abolitionist wave during the first Obama administration. It concludes with the contribution of social constructivism to understanding how changes in the India-Pakistan nuclear status quo can happen.
About the Author
Mario E. Carranza is professor of Political Science in the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He is the author of several books, including South Asian Security and International Nuclear Order: Creating a Robust Indo-Pakistani Nuclear Arms Control Regime.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
List of Figures and Tables
Chapter 1: Exploring Nuclear Reversals and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Norm
Chapter 2: An Impossible Game: The Myth of Stable Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia
Chapter 3: International Relations Theories and Indo-Pakistani Nuclear Relations
Chapter 4: Explaining and Forecasting Nuclear Reversals in South Asia: A Constructivist Framework
Chapter 5: A Critique of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward South Asia during the Bush and Obama Administrations
Chapter 6: Normalization and the Future of Indo-Pakistani Nuclear Relations
Chapter 7: Conclusion: Indo-Pakistani Nuclear Relations as a Global Issue. Constructivism and the Road to a Nuclear-weapon-free South Asia
About the Author