Many theories exist on the 'why' and 'how' of nuclear proliferation such as 'classical realism' and 'neo-realism' but what is generally accepted is that the locus is external in nature. As per Fry, "If a state bids for hegemony, other states willform an alliance to contain and deter the expansion-revisionist states" (Fry 3). This is based on the assumption that states seek to, "maximize their power in order to survive in a competitive international system," (Ogilvie-White 44). Hence, nations who see a perceived threat to their national interests or in extreme cases to their very existence (as in the caser of Israel) seek to acquire a nuclear deterrent since "security represents the intimate challenge to a states survival (Ogilvie-White, 45).
This theoretical debate is best exemplified by the arguments propounded by Scott D. Sagan and Kenneth N. Waltz in their book 'The Spread of Nuclear Weapons, A Debate' (New York: WW Norton and Company, 1995). This scholarly debate has two basic schools, one that views states as unitary, rational entities and the other which feels that proliferation occurs as an outcome of organizational interests. Both views have their merits and limitations as will be expanded upon. ...Show more