Nuclear Symbolism and Ritual--Upholding the National Myth: A Study of Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Proliferation
SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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This study suggests studying nuclear proliferation as an outcome of national myth. It begins by examining the theoretical role of myth in general and then specifically political myths. Ultimately, it describes myth as a conceptual entity that provides meaning and context to objective facts. Through the use of symbolism and ritual, ideas becomes reality. This study focuses on how national myth influences nuclear posture. It claims nations resist pressures from changes in environment to protect national myth by insuring the ritual and symbol remain congruent with the myth. The study examines this phenomenon by looking at the fifty-year history of India and Pakistans path to full nuclear weaponization, ultimately concluding that analyzing a nations nuclear proliferation as symbol and ritual provides insights that other reductionist theories cannot. Finally it suggests the study of nuclear symbolism and ritual of future nuclear proliferators, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, will prove useful for U.S. policy makers and their anti-proliferation agenda.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Warfare