Change in the U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy toward India (1998-2005):Accommodating the Anomaly

  • Author / Creator
    Bhatia, Vandana
  • For more than three decades, the U.S. prohibited the transfer of advanced nuclear technologies to India—a nonsignatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). In 1998, in an unprecedented challenge to the nuclear nonproliferation regime, India crossed the nuclear threshold and declared itself a nuclear weapon state, inviting the wrath of Washington in the form of sanctions. Yet, in 2005, within seven years of India’s nuclear crossover, the Bush administration pledged to resume full civilian nuclear cooperation with India, the nuclear outlier. The 2005 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement aroused sharp reactions and unleashed a storm of controversy. This study utilises regime theory to investigate whether the U.S.-India nuclear agreement undermines, or brings India within, the nuclear nonproliferation regime. This research examines the evolution of the change in U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy toward India. India’s quest for advanced technology posed a persistent challenge to the NPT-centric nuclear nonproliferation regime. Despite the imposition of technological embargoes, the U.S. failed to prevent India’s nuclear breakout in 1998, and was unable to deal effectively with the postproliferation challenge posed by India. In the changed global nuclear scenario of the 21st century, especially after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. in September 2001, Washington realised that leaving India outside the nonproliferation regime was not beneficial to international security. This research concludes that the 2005 U.S.-India civilian nuclear accord did not provide unlimited technological access to nuclear India, but was congruent with the principles and norms of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. In return for civilian nuclear cooperation, India had to accede to the non-NPT regulations and institutions of the nonproliferation regime. Thus, contrary to prevailing notions, the nuclear agreement was an attempt by the Bush administration to accommodate India—the recalcitrant anomaly—within the nonproliferation regime.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Johnston, Ingrid (Faculty of Graduate Studies)
    • Doucet, Joseph (Business)
    • Mutimer, David (Political Science, York University)
    • Mahdavi, Mojtaba (Political Science)
    • Anderson, Greg (Political Science)