The British Nuclear Experience: The Roles of Beliefs, Culture and Identity

ISBN : 9780198702023

John Baylis
320 ページ
163 x 240 mm

Based on a detailed analysis of archives and high level interviews this book looks at the role of beliefs, culture and identity in the making of British nuclear policy from 1945 through to the present day. This book also examines Britain's nuclear experience by moving away from traditional interpretations of why states develop and maintain nuclear weapons by adopting a more contemporary approach to political theory. Traditional mainstream explanations tend to stress the importance of factors such as the 'maximization of power', the pursuit of 'national security interests' and the role of 'structure' in a largely anarchic international system. This book does not dismiss these approaches, but argues that British experience suggests that focusing on 'beliefs', 'culture' and 'identity', provides a more useful insight and distinctive interpretation into the process of British nuclear decision making than the more traditional approaches.


1. The Emergence of a Deterrence 'Habit of Mind'
2. The Chiefs of Staff, Nuclear Weapons and Global Strategy
3. From Atomic Weapons to Thermonuclear Weapons
4. Forging the 'Special' Anglo-American Nuclear Relationship
5. Polaris, Independence and Interdependence
6. The Polaris Improvement Programme and Chevaline
7. The Polaris Replacement Debate under Labour
8. The Adoption of Trident
9. NATO Modernization Plans, SDI and the End of the Cold War
10. Trident Replacement/Renewal: From 'New Labour' to the Coalition Government


John Baylis is Emeritus Professor at Swansea University, where he was a Pro-Vice Chancellor. During the course of a distinguished career he has published a number of influential volumes, including Ambiguity and Deterrence: British Nuclear Strategy 1945-196 , Alternative Nuclear Futures: The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Post-Cold-War Era (edited with R O'Neill), The Globalization of World Politics (edited with S Smith and P Owens, fifth edition) and Strategy in the Contemporary World (edited with J Wirtz and C Gray, fourth edition).; Kristan Stoddart is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Aberystwyth University. His publications include Losing an Empire and Finding a Role?, Britain, the United States, NATO, and Nuclear Weapons 1964-1970, and The Sword and the Shield: Britain, the United States, NATO, and Nuclear Weapons 1970-1976.