The (accepted) gatecrasher

Authored by: Chris Ogden

Handbook of Nuclear Proliferation

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  February  2012

Print ISBN: 9781857436044
eBook ISBN: 9780203840849
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter considers the trajectory and rationales that have underpinned India’s emergence as a de facto nuclear state within the international system. India has acquired this status by often explicitly refusing to accept the perspectives of the five recognized nuclear powers, and most pertinently has attained (both civilian and military) nuclear capabilities by acting outside international proliferation regimes and controls. Remarkably, over the first decade of the 21st century, and courtesy of wider critical systemic issues – in particular India’s rising (and increasingly accepted) geopolitical and geo-economic importance – rather than being cast as a pariah, India has been broadly welcomed into the nuclear fold. As such, India has been able to cast, and crucially follow, its own distinctive path in the international arena, creating an exceptionalism concerning its nuclear programme and international attitudes towards it.

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