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  • Enrichment and Reprocessing Technology, NSG and India

    Even the otherwise vague 2011 NSG public statement which inserted the NPT angle into the guidelines underlined that the NSG would implement the India-specific exemptions fully.

    August 19, 2011

    An Indian Anti-Nuclear Movement?

    An anti-nuclear movement in India would remain largely a marginal movement with sporadic spurts depending on the issue at hand, the site in question and the political parties involved.

    July 28, 2011

    Global Zero and Nuclear Disarmament Activism

    Though Global Zero’s ‘umbrella activism’ involving current and past policy practitioners and the general public alike can be expected to gain further momentum in the near future, its continued vitality may however be captive to the pressures of the timeline within which its vision is intended to be achieved.

    July 19, 2011

    Australia Likely to Review Ban on Uranium Sales to India

    A continuation of Australia’s ban on the sale of uranium to India is likely to hinder the goal of building a strategic partnership and exploring complementarities in the defence and maritime domain.

    July 06, 2011

    India’s NSG Membership

    Under the November 2010 statement issued by India and the United States, India is committed to take only one step: harmonizing its export controls with those of all the four multilateral export controls regimes.

    June 18, 2011

    India’s Membership of the NSG: Possible Options

    This Brief elaborates the principles that need to be followed to evolve a criteria-based approach to enable India to join the NSG as a full member and contribute materially and substantially to a future non-proliferation regime that will be acceptable to the international community as a whole.

    June 16, 2011

    Fukushima Crisis Triggers Debate on the Future of Nuclear Energy

    The increasing debate after the Fukushima crisis has undermined the recent renaissance of nuclear power and is likely to usher in greater regulation and stringent safety measures, making alternative sources of energy cheaper and therefore more appealing.

    June 06, 2011

    Non-Proliferation Lobby Analysts Seek to Corner India on CTBT

    To resolve the challenge posed by the NPT criteria, the best solution would be to amend the NPT and accommodate India as a nuclear weapon state.

    June 03, 2011

    25 years after Chernobyl, the nuclear debate at a dead end

    The battle of numbers and figures between supporters and opponents of nuclear energy has not only been a major obstacle to a better debate about the pros and cons of nuclear energy, but it has also prevented the development of better contingency plans after Chernobyl.

    May 24, 2011

    Abdul Rahman asked: Is Nuclear Revolution a benefit or harm?

    Sasikumar Shanmugasundaram replies: The meaning of nuclear revolution has clearly impressed the security studies community while the judgement of its utility has not. Bernard Brodie’s (1946) first analysis of nuclear revolution still remains an oft quoted phrase: “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. From now on its chief purpose must be to avert them.” Brodie’s analysis was refined and perfected by scholars like Michael Mandelbaum, Thomas Schelling, Robert Jervis, Kenneth Waltz, and Stephen Van Evera, among others. Nuclear revolution as the result of mutual vulnerability therefore still remains an impressive theoretical logic. However, like any debate on the social adaptation to technology, the evaluation of the effects of nuclear revolution is strongly debated both among scholars and policy makers. Therefore, the benefit or harm of nuclear revolution has to be contextualized.

    Scholars of defensive realist camp believe that nuclear revolution is a benefit because it creates a degree of security and precludes self-defeating expansionist policies. Proponents of offensive realism would, however, argue that nuclear revolution cannot stop a state’s incentive to accumulate power. Constructivists would contend that the success or failure of nuclear revolution depends on the social context through which it is interpreted. And finally critical theorists/ post-modernists would argue that the meaning of nuclear revolution depends on complex power relations in world politics. Moving from the ivory tower to the ground, multitudes of opinion still remain. The United States would contend that the risk of nuclear confrontation (between States) has reduced but the risk of nuclear attack (by terrorists) has increased. Therefore, capitalizing the effects of nuclear revolution against responsible nuclear weapons states and simultaneously augmenting conventional forces against terrorists or rogue states has been its security policy. North Korea, on the other hand, would continue to advertise confidence on its own nuclear deterrent, engaging with, although not explicating, the ideas of nuclear revolution. For India the benefits of nuclear revolution vis-a-vis China is very different from the complexities it generates vis-a-vis Pakistan. For Israel, China or Pakistan, even a robust nuclear arsenal cannot reduce the security competition with their adversaries.

    The question whether nuclear revolution is a benefit or harm therefore has to be contextualized. Future transformation of the nuclear era might enable more patterns of evaluation of the question which annihilation would obviously confirm.