India's Nuclear Weapons Program

Authored by: Yogesh Joshi

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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Ever since India decided to build nuclear weapons in the late 1980s, its transformation from nuclear ambivalence to nuclear resurgence has been phenomenal. This chapter aims to understand the origins and evolution of India's nuclear weapons program. It divides India's nuclear weapons program into three distinct phases depending upon its objective and form: a reserved arsenal (1989–1998), a responsible arsenal (1998–2008), and finally, a resurgent arsenal (2008 onwards). The form and substance of India's nuclear arsenal are shaped by its security requirements and the constraints imposed and opportunities provided by the shifting structures of global politics.

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