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Interstate Political Conflict and Challenges to Arms Control: A Case Study of Pakistan-India From 1988 to 2008

Mehmood, N. (2020) Interstate Political Conflict and Challenges to Arms Control: A Case Study of Pakistan-India From 1988 to 2008. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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· Restricted to Repository staff only


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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00096011


This thesis broadly concerns with the challenges to the introduction of substantial arms control, an important dimension of the theory and praxis of arms control, between rival states. It specifically focuses on the Pakistan-India case and explains why arms control efforts between them have remained unsuccessful between 1988 and 2008. The extant literature on the topic comprises of shallow, fragmented, and secondary source-based commentary. Moreover, it does not provide an overarching theoretical argument. Drawing on the arms control theory, this thesis prioritizes four contributing causal factors and explains their link and impact in restricting Pakistan-India from undertaking substantial arms control. These causal factors include the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) issue, China as a third party, dissimilar military doctrines, and hostile domestic politics. Coupled with this, this thesis synthesises an overarching proposition that asserts the presence of a causal mechanism between these four causal factors and arms control. Methodologically, this thesis employs the within-case study analysis anchoring in qualitative research tradition. This methodological setting incorporates tools of focusedstructured comparison and process tracing. There are five core findings. Firstly, there was presence of interaction between four causal factors and arms control. Secondly, different causal factors yielded different forms of impacts: a) procedural effects, and b) substantive effects. Thirdly, different factors caused varying impacts. In this regard, the J&K issue produced the strongest impact. Fourthly, collective impact of these four factors was stronger on arms control than their individual impact. Fifthly, these four causal factors and arms control constituted a complex causal mechanism, where the causal factors had exerted greater effect over the arms control than the opposite. This thesis has both theoretical and policy implications. There are three main theoretical implications. Firstly, the arms control theory is more compatible with the English School than the other theories of international relations. Secondly, the arms control theory is neither opposite nor orthogonal to the other mid-range theories of strategic studies, particularly deterrence, arms race, and war. Importantly, it has conceptual breadth and width to encompass these mid-range theories than the opposite. Thirdly, there is a deep and complex relationship between political conflict and arms control: both interact in an interweaving manner. There are also three policy implications. Firstly, rival states show preference for holistic and integrated approach for the outstanding political issues and arms control. Part of the reason behind this approach is the lack of trust and political will between rival states. Secondly, rival states can explore the option of addressing the outstanding issues and arms control in a more loosely manner. Thirdly, there is a need for better institutionalisation of arms control at national level.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Sloan, G.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Politics and International Relations
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:96011
Date on Title Page:June 2019

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