Abhishek SaxenaCentre for Air Power Studies · Nuclear Security
I am currently working on the nuclear doctrine of great powers.
It is not bipolarity but nuclear weapons which better explain the absence of great-power war during the Cold War. The “Nuclear Revolution” has attenuated the structural constraints of the international system and made structure largely irrelevant for the calculations of systemic war. It doesn’t matter whether the emerging structure is bipolar or multipolar; the very existence of nuclear weapons, irrespective of the size of the nuclear stockpile, inhibits a great-power war between the United States and China. Since the international system remains anarchical, the great-power competition has shifted towards less expensive and less hazardous arenas like trade and technology. Thus, experience of the Cold War cast an optimistic image of the future.