Explaining India's nuclearization: Engaging realism and social constructivism

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This article presents an analytical hybrid of realism and critical social constructivism as its theoretical framework, and representations of (in)securities as an interpretation of politics, to explain India's nuclearization policies. Arguing that a linkage of political leaders' ideologies, articulation of statist identities, and (insecurities defines a state's security practices, I compare how the ideological perceptions of the postcolonial Indian state's leaders have articulated divergent notions of nationalisms, nationalist identities, and (in)securities and corresponding nuclear-policy choices. In charting this comparison, I explore how the political, economic, and developmental insecurities perceived by the Indian state under the Congress Party have become communal/cultural under the Bharatiya Janata Party, thereby facilitating the BJP's justification of India's nuclear-weapon tests. The article thus hopes to add to our understanding about the security problematiques of states and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-70
Number of pages38
JournalAsian Perspective
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • East Asian security
  • India
  • Nuclear weapons


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