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International Journal


In 2005, India and the United States announced a nuclear “deal” that would seek to clarify India’s ambiguous status in the nuclear order. The sole superpower appeared to be recognizing India’s status as a nuclear-armed state by opening up the possibility of nuclear cooperation. This announcement represented the fruit of many years of careful Indian diplomacy aimed at establishing its identity as a responsible possessor of nuclear weapons and forging a closer alliance with the US. This article provides a concise description of the provisions of the 2005 India-US nuclear agreement, and analyzes its global, regional, and domestic implications. While the nuclear deal, like most events, was the product of a convergence of circumstances (such as the ideological orientation of the administration in the White House and the recent revelations about nuclear transfers out of Pakistan), the main enabling condition was India’s strategy constituting itself as a responsible nuclear power. The paper highlights the power of the concept of responsibility, to which the Indian government has repeatedly made reference. It will conclude by comparing the policy options available to the Canadian government in responding to this deal.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by SAGE Publications in International Journal on December 1, 2007, whose Version of Record is available online: SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.