Leiden Safety and Security Blog

Terrorism and Nuclear Deterrence

Terrorism and Nuclear Deterrence

On April 20 Dr. Nicolas Blarel will give a talk on ‘Terrorism and Nuclear Deterrence’ within Leiden University's Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series. Research on the links between terrorism and nuclear weapons has mostly focused on the potential for nuclear terrorism and/or on nuclear proliferation through non-state networks. Dr. Blarel will explore these links from an alternative angle: he will evaluate the way in which state actors (governmental and military leadership) that are engaged in a nuclearized dyadic rivalry instrumentalize militant non-state groups to escalate conflict in order to achieve their political goals. This trilateral dynamic is highly relevant both in terms of research and policy. Dr. Blarel will develop suggestions for theorizing the relationship between terrorism and state deterrence in dyadic nuclearized rivalries. He will engage with one specific case to develop a new theoretical model: Pakistan’s use of non-state, militant groups under the nuclear umbrella to challenge India’s regional position from 1987 to 2016. Studying these links helps better understand the sources of rivalry instability and of deep-seated terrorism which stand together as a major impediment for conflict resolution.

The DGA Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

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