Nuclear presence and crisis escalation stability
Sanchez, Victoria Justine
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This thesis examines the relationship between crisis escalation and the presence of nuclear actors. Nuclear weapons are typically viewed as the ultimate weapons of mass destruction, but can nuclear weapons actually be a force for peace? The research conducted is primarily concerned with how the escalation of international crises is affected by the presence of actors with nuclear weapons. Using data from the International Crisis Behavior Project, this thesis evaluates two hypotheses that crises where at least one nuclear actor is present will 1) experience lower levels of violence and 2) have less reoccurrence of the crisis. Quantitative analysis does not show a statistically significant relationship between the presence of a nuclear actor and crisis escalation and suggests that a contradictory relationship exists. The results of this thesis are important for understanding a part of the continued debate regarding the possession of nuclear weapons.
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