Seeking the Bomb: Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation, Vipin Narang
The book under review addresses two core questions. First, how states pursue nuclear weapons and why they select a particular strategy of proliferation over the alternatives. Second, how their choices of strategy affect nuclear proliferation and conflict dynamics. The theoretical framework developed by the author to address these questions is called Proliferation Strategy Theory. This theory hypothesizes that nuclear aspirants consider three variables while pursuing a nuclear program. These variables include external security constraints and opportunities, domestic context, and international non-proliferation constraints and opportunities. The author has identified four strategies that states pursue to become a nuclear weapon state. These strategies are described as hedging, sprinting, sheltered pursuit, and hiding. He has further divided hedging strategy into technical hedging, insurance hedging, and hard hedging.