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Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons? Three Models in Search of a Bomb
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International Security, Vol. 21, page(s): 54-86

Winter 1996/1997

Scott D. Sagan notes that the question of why states seek to build nuclear weapons has scarcely been examined, although it is crucial to efforts at preventing proliferation. He challenges the traditional realist assumption, accepted uncritically by many scholars and policymakers, that states seek to acquire or develop nuclear weapons primarily for military and strategic reasons. Sagan examines alternate explanations for the demand for nuclear weapons.

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