International Politics Reviews

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 6–9 | Cite as

Alexandre Debs and Nuno P. Monteiro: Nuclear politics: the strategic causes of proliferation

Cambridge University Press, 2017
  • Andrew J. Coe
Book Review

This book offers a provocative and important step forward in understanding the politics surrounding the spread of nuclear weapons. It presents a theory to explain why only some states that are interested in acquiring nuclear weapons eventually do so. It shows that the theory’s predictions are consistent with the patterns of proliferation outcomes in the nuclear era and then assesses the theory in greater depth through an extensive set of well-documented case studies.

Debs’s and Monteiro’s (henceforth DM) argument is that states only get the bomb if they have both the willingness and the opportunity to do so. States have the willingness to acquire nuclear weapons only if they face a serious security threat and cannot count on a reliable ally to protect them from it. States have the opportunity only if they (or their ally) are strong enough to deter or resist preventive attack (37). States that do not face any serious threat to their security, or that have an ally they are willing to...

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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