Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Eugene R. Wittkopf
Nuclear weapons, long considered the bete noire of human existence are examined quantitatively and qualitatively in this dissertation to ascertain if the heinous effects they threaten ultimately serve to promote deterrence between pairs of states. The findings suggest that nuclear weapons do have a significant impact on conflict when present on both sides of a dyadic dispute. In such symmetrical nuclear pairs conflict levels are quantitatively shown to be reduced, suggesting that the conflict inhibiting qualities of these weapons long espoused by nuclear optimists are legitimate. Further evidence is presented in the form of a qualitative analysis of conflict between India and Pakistan over the region of Jammu and Kashmir. In this individual dyad the introduction of nuclear weapons again appears to have manifested lower levels of conflict between these heated adversaries. The implication of this research is that the steady spread of nuclear weapons may serve to dampen conflict throughout the international system.
Pasley, James Franklin, "Chicken Pax Atomica: the Impact of Nuclear Weapons on Conflict Between Interstate Dyads." (1999). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 7119.