Nuclear deterrence : insecurity and the proliferation of nuclear weapons


Thesis explores the relationship between insecurity experienced by a State and the creation of a nuclear weapons program, and concludes that with an increase in insecurity, there is an increase in the likelihood that a State will start a nuclear weapons program. The word insecurity is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as "not adequately guarded or safe," and this insecurity can come from threats or aggressive action taken by a State or a group of States. This positive relationship will be explored by looking at Pakistan, North Korea, and South Africa as case studies. The main theory that will be explored is the security dilemma that was first proposed as a theory of international Relations by John H. Herz in his book Political Realism and Political Idealism, and further explored by Herbert Butterfield in History and Human Relations. The main argument in this theory is that States will escalate a conflict among one another if they experience insecurity even if they do not wish to actually go to war but are not willing to communicate and work out their differences diplomatically. Throughout this study, there is a clear connection between these two factors and the security dilemma is a factor in all three case studies. The main conclusion of the paper is that more emphasis should be put on preventing countries from resorting to nuclear weapons programs and creating an environment where diplomacy is used instead of the threat of force, which is a large factor in these countries starting their nuclear weapons programs.


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Thesis Completion





Sadri, Houman A.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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