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Political Science


States have developed military capabilities throughout the history of the nation-state international system. Examples include the Anglo-German naval arms race at the beginning of the 21st century and the United States-Soviet Union arms competition during the cold War. One contemporary example of an arms buildup can be seen with the expansion and enhancement of India’s nuclear arsenal. Drawing from two broad bodies of literature that focus on the role of external and internal causes of arms buildups, I argue that India’s nuclear buildup has been caused primarily by the external threat posed by Pakistan, and less so by China. Moreover, Indian nationalism and Indian bureaucracies have catalyzed and reinforced some of these developments. I provide some concluding statements on policy prescriptions, areas for further research, and ways in which the findings of this thesis can help us to understand similar cases in the world.


Approved by: Gary Prevost, Marju Parikh, Richard Bohr, Jeffrey Diamond, Anthony Cunningham