208 pages | 3 B/W Illus.
This book examines India’s nuclear programme and shows how secrecy inhibits learning in states and corrodes the capacity of decision makers to generate optimal policy choices.
Focusing on clandestine Indian nuclear proliferation during 1980-2010, the book argues that efficient decision-making is dependent on strongly established knowledge actors, high information turnover, and the capacity of leaders to effectively monitor their agents. When secrecy concerns prevent states from institutionalizing these processes, leaders tend to rely more on heuristics and less on rational thought processes in choices involving matters of great political uncertainty and technical complexity. Conversely, decision-making improves as secrecy declines and policy choices become subject to higher levels of scrutiny and contestation. The arguments in this work draw on compelling evidence gathered from interviews conducted by the author, with interviewees including individuals who were involved in nuclear planning in India from 1980 to 2010, such as former cabinet and defence secretaries, the principal secretary to the prime minister, national security advisors, secretaries to the department of atomic energy, military chiefs of staff and their principal staff officers, and commanders of India’s strategic (nuclear) forces.
This book will be of much interest to students of nuclear proliferation, Asian politics, strategic studies and International Relations.
1. The Oddities of Indian Nuclear Behavior
2. Secrecy and State Learning
3. A Disaggregated Weapons Nuclear Option (1980-1989)
4. Behind the Veil of Nuclear Opacity (1990-1998)
5. The Challenges of Nuclear Operationalization (1999-2010)
6. Variations in Practices of Secrecy and Its Impact on Nuclear Outcomes
Few regions of the world are fraught with as many security questions as Asia. Within this region it is possible to study great power rivalries, irredentist conflicts, nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation, secessionist movements, ethnoreligious conflicts and inter-state wars. This series publishes the best possible scholarship on the security issues affecting the region, and includes detailed empirical studies, theoretically oriented case studies and policy-relevant analyses as well as more general works.