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Strategic imperatives, status aspirations, or domestic interests?: Explaining Russia’s nuclear weapons policy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7788-9640
2019 (English)In: International Politics, ISSN 1384-5748, E-ISSN 1740-3898, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 810-827Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What are the causes of Russia’s increasingly assertive nuclear weapons policy? This article offers a synthetic explanation combining strategic imperatives, status aspirations, and domestic political factors. In brief, it is argued that strategic imperatives go a long way toward explaining Russia’s nuclear force modernization. Russia seeks to upgrade its aging nuclear arsenal to maintain an assured second-strike capability. Status aspirations, in turn, can account for many nuclear exercises and maneuvers conducted by Russia. The aim is to promote Russia’s image as a great power in world politics. Finally, regime security considerations are the primary driver of Moscow’s abrasive nuclear rhetoric, which often caters to a domestic audience. The article unpacks these arguments, demonstrates their explanatory purchase, and discusses policy implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 56, no 6, p. 810-827
National Category
Political Science
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351453DOI: 10.1057/s41311-018-0168-7ISI: 000493604100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-351453DiVA, id: diva2:1209949
Available from: 2018-05-24 Created: 2018-05-24 Last updated: 2019-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Götz, Elias

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