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Strategic Culture, Representations of Nuclear (In)Securities, and the Government of India: A Critical Constructivist Perspective

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In this article, I use Alastair Johnston's concept of strategic culture re-visited through a critical constructivist perspective to analyze the representations of India's strategic culture and nuclear policy choices. In doing so, I explore how the representational practices of (and the mutually-constitutive relation between) India's nationalist identity/Self and its strategic environment, facilitated via its political leaders' ideological lenses, have produced shifting representations of India's strategic environment to justify the nation's nuclear policy choices. In exploring this representational linkage between India's strategic environment and its nuclear (in)securities, I am cognizant that anarchy is a challenge facing India's task of nation-making and thus realism serves as a partially valid explanation for understanding the logic proliferation. Yet, my study demonstrates how culturally guided interpretations of what constitutes the Indian Self have divergently re-interpreted India's strategic environment and (in)securities to define the nation's nuclear policy choices.
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Keywords: Critical Constructivism; Identity; Indian Politics; Nuclear (In)security; Strategic Culture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, USA

Publication date: 01 August 2009

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