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As the Cold War came to a close in 1991, US President George H. W. Bush famously saw its shocking demise as the dawn of a 'new world order' that would prize peace and expand liberal democratic capitalism. Thirty years later, with China on the rise, Russia resurgent, and populism roiling the Western world, it is clear that Bush's declaration remains elusive. In this book, leading scholars of international affairs offer fresh insight into why the hopes of the early post-Cold War period have been dashed and the challenges ahead. As the world marks the thirtieth anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, this book brings together historians and political scientists to examine the changes and continuities in world politics that emerged at the end of the Cold War and shaped the world we inhabit today.
When do states acquire nuclear weapons? Overturning a decade of scholarship focusing on other factors, Debs and Monteiro show in Nuclear Politics that proliferation is driven by security concerns. Proliferation occurs only when a state has both the willingness and opportunity to build the bomb. A state has the willingness to nuclearize when it faces a serious security threat without the support of a reliable ally. It has the opportunity when its conventional forces or allied protection are sufficient to deter preventive attacks. This explains why so few countries have developed nuclear weapons. Unthreatened or protected states do not want them; weak and unprotected ones cannot get them. This powerful theory combined with extensive historical research on the nuclear trajectory of sixteen countries will make Nuclear Politics a standard reference in international security studies, informing scholarly and policy debates on nuclear proliferation - and US non-proliferation efforts - for decades to come.