The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia


Muthiah Alagappa (ed.)


Stanford: Stanford University Press

Available From: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8047-6087-4
Binding: paper
Pages: 592


Winner of the 2009 Outstanding Academic Title Award, sponsored by Choice.

The Long Shadowis the first comprehensive, systematic examination of the roles and implications of nuclear weapons in the dramatically different post-Cold War security environment. Leading experts investigate the roles and salience of nuclear weapons in the national security strategies of twelve countries and the ASEAN states, and their implications for security and stability in a broadly defined Asian security region that involves the Middle East. The study also investigates the prospects for nuclear terrorism in Asia.

A chief conclusion of the study is that nuclear weapons influence national security strategies in fundamental ways and that deterrence continues to be the dominant role and strategy for the employment of nuclear weapons. Offensive and defensive strategies may increase in salience but will not surpass the deterrence function. Another major conclusion is that although there could be destabilizing situations, on balance, nuclear weapons have reinforced security and stability in the Asian security region by assuaging national security concerns, strengthening deterrence and the status quo, and preventing the outbreak and escalation of major hostilities.

As nuclear weapons will persist and cast a long shadow on security in Asia and the world, it is important to reexamine and redefine "old" ideas, concepts, and strategies as well as develop "new" ones relevant to the contemporary era. In line with this, the global nuclear order should be constructed anew based on present realities.

© Stanford University Press


Details and ordering information at Stanford University Press

Introduction: Investigating Nuclear Weapons in a New Era

Part I: Historical, Strategic, and Conceptual Perspectives
  1. Asia's Security Environment: From Subordinate to Region Dominant System
  2. Exploring Roles, Strategies, and Implications: Historical and Conceptual Perspectives

    Part II: National Nuclear Policies and Strategies
    The Nuclear Weapon States

  3. United States: Nuclear Policy at a Crossroads
  4. Russia: "New" Inconsistent Nuclear Thinking and Policy
  5. China: Dynamic Minimum Deterrence
  6. India: The Logic of Assured Retaliation
  7. Pakistan: The Tragic Dilemma of Nuclear Deterrence
  8. Israel: A Sui Generis Proliferator

    Aspirant States and Nonstate Actors
  9. North Korea: Existential Deterrence and Diplomatic Leverage
  10. Iran: The Nuclear Quandry
  11. Nuclear Terrorism: Prospects in Asia

    Allies of Nuclear Weapon States
  12. Japan: New Nuclear Realism
  13. South Korea: Fears of Abandonment and Entrapment
  14. Taiwan: Conventional Deterrence, Soft Power, and the Nuclear Option
  15. Australia: Back to the Future?

    Southeast Asia
  16. ASEAN: The Road Not Taken

    Part III: Conclusion
  17. Nuclear Weapons and National Security: Far-Reaching Influence and Deterrence Dominance
  18. Reinforcing National Security and Regional Stability: The Implications of Nuclear Weapons and Strategies


"Alagappa's edited volume is a veritable tour de force of this complex subject--the long shadow cast by the nuclear weapon--and how it is perceived in the national security strategy of individual states in the extended Asian context. It is instructive that the study includes both the U.S. and Russia--the latter being the inheritor of the Soviet nuclear mantle--as part of the Asian nuclear matrix."

--The Hindu

"I know of no other book about nuclear weapons and international security produced since the end of the Cold War that has the breadth of The Long Shadow. It combines a reconsideration of key strategic concepts and policies with a remarkably comprehensive survey of countries from the Middle East through East Asia whose nuclear status, aspirations, or potential will shape the Asian security order in the twenty-first century."

--Avery Goldstein, Professor and Chair,
Political Science Department, University of Pennsylvania

"An important book in understanding the roles and implications of nuclear weapons in a new strategic era. A remarkable panel of authors presents a penetrating, clearly written analysis and prognosis of nuclear weapons in the national security strategies of twelve nations in the broadly defined Asian region that includes the Middle East with key historical and comparative insights offered by the editor. Every reader will find a wealth of history and interpretation that is available for the first time."

--Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics
and Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland

"Like Alagappa's earlier volumes, this book is a major contribution to understanding Asian security. There is nothing like it in scope or quality on the subject of nuclear weapons in Asia. Virtually every country in Asia is analyzed from a common perspective. The editor's analytical chapters are original and provocative."

--Patrick Morgan, Tierney Chair,
Peace & Conflict, University of California, Irvine

"A well-rounded, comprehensive analysis of the roles and implications of nuclear weapons in the Asian security region. In light of the growing importance of Asian security issues, this book will be a valuable resource."

--Charles Glaser, Professor and Deputy Dean,
The Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago