Cover of Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments by Moeed Yusuf
Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments
U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia
Moeed Yusuf


320 pages.
from $32.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503604858
Paperback ISBN: 9781503611580
Ebook ISBN: 9781503606555

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One of the gravest issues facing the global community today is the threat of nuclear war. As a growing number of nations gain nuclear capabilities, the odds of nuclear conflict increase. Yet nuclear deterrence strategies remain rooted in Cold War models that do not take into account regional conflict. Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments offers an innovative theory of brokered bargaining to better understand and solve regional crises. As the world has moved away from the binational relationships that defined Cold War conflict while nuclear weapons have continued to proliferate, new types of nuclear threats have arisen. Moeed Yusuf proposes a unique approach to deterrence that takes these changing factors into account.

Drawing on the history of conflict between India and Pakistan, Yusuf describes the potential for third-party intervention to avert nuclear war. This book lays out the ways regional powers behave and maneuver in response to the pressures of strong global powers. Moving beyond debates surrounding the widely accepted rational deterrence model, Yusuf offers an original perspective rooted in thoughtful analysis of recent regional nuclear conflicts. With depth and insight, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments urges the international community to rethink its approach to nuclear deterrence.

About the author

Moeed Yusuf, PhD, is Associate Vice President of the Asia center at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is the editor of Pakistan's Counterterrorism Challenge and Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia and co-editor of South Asia 2060 and Getting it Right in Afghanistan.

"This outstanding book serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers that crises between regional nuclear actors pose to global peace. One of the world's foremost experts on U.S. policy towards South Asia, Moeed Yusuf has produced powerful original scholarship that emphasizes the critical role the United States has played, and must continue to play, in managing these crises. An absolute must-read for policy makers."

—Stephen J. Hadley, former U.S. National Security Advisor

"Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments expands our understanding of a new, dangerous frontier in international security: the bargaining and decision-making of regional nuclear rivals, in crises that play out under the purview of powerful third parties. Moeed Yusuf illuminates these dynamics in surprising ways, weaving together insights from theories of nuclear strategy and diplomacy, third-party conflict management, and unipolarity. The study gives us much to think about as we consider how similar nuclear crises in South Asia, and other regional contexts, could unfold and—one hopes—be resolved short of war."

—Timothy Crawford, Boston College

"In this important new book, Moeed Yusuf shows that the nuclear crises of today are multiplayer games and that the role of the third-party mediator may in fact be the most important. A truly valuable theoretical and empirical contribution."

—Vipin Narang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This brilliant book raises important questions about the nuclear futures of the world. With the US edging towards one side in South Asia, and trying to get the Chinese to play a new role in South and East Asia, will the concept of brokered bargaining be pushed to the breaking point? Will China (or a subordinate state) be persuaded that force is useful or necessary? The book forces one to think afresh about these issues."

—Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Brookings Institution

"We tested the nuclear-weapons capability a score ago. We need to add value to the theoretical and strategic literature on the subject. That Yusuf is the first to do so is highly commendable. Interestingly, the work is also meant for the informed generalist. In addition to conceptual originality, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments also provides original, first-time information on the three crises Yusuf studies. That information, in and of itself, is crucial to understanding how decision-making plays out in the South Asian context."

—Ejaz Haider, Dawn

"The result is a highly original contribution to nuclear theory –- an area that has largely remained the preserve of Euro-American scholars in the past—as Yusuf presents his own model of 'brokered bargaining' to conceptualize crises in regional contexts."

—Wajahat Ali, Arab News

"Moeed Yusuf's riveting insights on the subject could not have come at a better time for practitioners and scholars. It gives a much-needed glance into the US playbook and how it is likely to be used in future crises in the South Asian theater. It is a rich addition to scholarship because it analyzes South Asian crises beyond the deterrence framework and concludes that crises behavior will be influenced by many other factors than nuclear and conventional deterrence."

—Syed Ali Zia Jaffery, Pakistan Politico

"Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments offers a valuable analytical lens to students of nuclear politics in international relations by outlining the trilateral and multilateral dynamics in regional nuclear environments. Yusuf's prudent narration of the post-Cold War nuclearized canvas of South Asia and of the three Indo-Pak crises will positively engage readers from the region and outside."

—Tanvi Kulkarni, South Asian Voices

"Moeed Yusuf's book not only provides a comprehensive insight into the role effectively played by the US as a third party – an aspect which has been discussed by other writers as well, but it makes a successful attempt at theorising why and how presence and role of the US impacts crisis behaviour in a nuclear environment."

—Salma Malik, The Friday Times

"Moeed Yusuf's book, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments, is remarkable for two reasons. First, inheriting an academic discourse on international conflict that is accustomed to thinking in dyads, it reminds us that the real world is less simple, and brings into focus tripartite engagement, with additional actors having speaking parts. Second, it reconstructs three recent crisis events in quiet detail. This distillation, based in part on an impressive list of interviews, is useful especially to those interested in studying India-Pakistan relations with specific focus on nuclear policy and advocacy."

—Swarna Rajagopalan, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews

"[T]his book carries immense value by bringing forth a crisis management "playbook" for third party powers and in incisively explaining the crisis behavior of regional powers. Its perceptive description of the three crises in South Asia carries great value for the scholars of strategic studies as well as policymakers grappling with crisis management in nuclearized environments."

—Saima Aman Sial, South Asian Voices

"I hope tomorrow's negotiators will read this book."

—Teresita C. Schaffer, South Asia Hand

"This is a timely book. [A] valuable contribution to an area that has received inadequate attention since the end of the Cold War."––Rajesh Basrur, International Affairs

"This excellent book shows the critical role played by the United States and other third parties, including the United Kingdom and China, in de-escalating the first three nuclear crises since the May 1998 Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests....[A] major contribution to the literature on the elusive search for 'crisis stability' in Indo–Pakistani relations."

—Mario E. Carranza, The Nonproliferation Review