Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. Jessica Martin

Second Advisor

Lucy Chester

Third Advisor

Dr. Victoria Hunter


India is a growing economic, military, and technological force in the twenty-first century. It is now the fastest growing state in Asia, and subsequently increased its military budget, allowing for the development of better nuclear technology and capability. India’s recent geopolitical engagement includes attempting to establish relations with powerful neighboring China, establish itself as a global power, and continual tensions with Pakistan. These elements of economic and military development and geopolitical relations together create the conditions for India’s current rising geopolitical profile.

Nuclear capability is a primary focus in twenty-first century international affairs, and through the primary lens and perspective of the theory of realism in international relations, I will analyze the ways in which the elements of India’s nuclear doctrine that delineate India’s resolve not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states and its No First Use stance and amendments to this stance under major, biological, or chemical weapons attack aid India on its path to emergence as a key actor in international affairs.