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Political Psychology, Vol. xx, No. xx, 2012 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2012.00912.x

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation: A Political Psychology Approach to Proliferation


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K. P. OReilly Carroll University

Contributing to an emerging scholarship emphasizing ideational approaches for understanding nuclear proliferation, this work offers a new analytical framework focusing on leaders perceptions about the international system and how their perceived strategic context may inuence the decision of going nuclear. Rather than being an inevitable occurrence driven by abstract systemic factors, like the security dilemma, this actor-specic, ideational approach offers a narrative depicting the fundamental role played by policy makers perceptions about the international environment in which their proliferation decisions are made. Utilizing operational code analysis, leaders unique perceived strategic contexts are identied and expectant strategies for self and other analyzed by using the theory of moves sequential game construct. Initial testing of the framework is performed by examining the debated nuclear proliferation cases of South Africa and India. The results highlight the important role of individuals views concerning the strategic environment they inhabit when weighing proliferation decisions.
KEY WORDS: nuclear proliferation, perceived strategic context, operational code analysis, theory of moves

Introduction The spread of nuclear weapons continues to garner the attention of international relations and security studies scholars given mounting concerns over nuclear activities by so-called rogue states like North Korea and Iran, and the possible acquisition of such weapons by terrorists. Much of the literature attempting to explain the causes for nuclear proliferation is rmly rooted in the theoretical traditions of realism and liberalism prevalent in the international relations scholarship. Considerable attention is given to both system-level conditions (e.g., global distribution of power) and domesticlevel processes (e.g., domestic political coalitions) as explaining proliferation outcomes. Yet the efcacy of many of these explanations is increasingly criticized as their persistently pessimistic forecasts depicting the inevitability of nuclear proliferation appear contradicted by historical facts (Hymans, 2007; Mueller, 2010). Instead of being widespread, nuclear proliferation remains an infrequent occurrence. Motivated by a need to better understand the motives for proliferation several recent studies have developed ideational approaches. Building off of the constructivist challenge about how ideas shape interests and actors preferences, these efforts highlight the importance of decision makers attitudes about the utility of nuclear weapons for achieving political goals in the international arena (Long & Grillot, 2000; Hymans, 2006; Paul, 2009; Rublee, 2009; Tannenwald, 2007).
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0162-895X 2012 International Society of Political Psychology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, and PO Box 378 Carlton South, 3053 Victoria, Australia

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In contributing to this emerging scholarship this project offers a new analytical framework for examining how leaders perceptions about the international system inuence the choice of going nuclear. If proliferation decisions are idiosyncratic, produced by internal politics, stemming from the dedicated machinations, and the particular perspectives and personalities, of specic leaders or governing coalitions (Mueller, 2010, p. 113), then application of a cognitive, decision-making framework may be instrumental in developing a more thorough explanation of proliferation outcomes. An actor-specic approach challenges conventional explanations, like the security dilemma, which view proliferation as an inevitable feature of international politics given objective systemic factors at work. This proposed framework instead depicts the fundamental role of policy makers perceptions in shaping the very international environment in which proliferation decisions are made. This new analytical framework aims to advance the growing agent-based, ideational proliferation literature both conceptually and methodologically. Conceptually the framework explicitly recognizes leaders decisions as strategic, meaning that proliferation outcomes are depicted as a function of pursuing ones self-interest while also anticipating the reactions of others (Lake & Powell, 1999; Walker, 2003, 2004). The result is a dyadic approach with proliferation decisions ideally understood as interactions between actors (see Montgomery & Sagan, 2009). Specically, these interactions are viewed through the lens of the perceived strategic context envisioned by a given leader. Methodologically this approach attempts to systematically identify and measure leaders beliefs utilizing actual preferences, rather than making heroic assumptions about preferences, to represent the strategic situations in which leaders see themselves operating as they confront the monumental decision about going nuclear (Malici, 2008; Walker & Schafer, 2007). In presenting this new analytical framework for examining proliferation decisions, several key issues are subsequently addressed. First, the concept of perceived strategic context is further dened as to its component parts and important role in representing leaders subjective operating environments. Second, the use of operational code analysis for identifying leaders perceptions about self and others in the international political environment is discussed and then utilized to generate some preliminary hypothesis about expected proliferation outcomes. Specically, the revelation of leaders world views, obtained through their operational codes, provides insights about strategic preferences and interactions with others. Once a leaders perceived strategic context is identied it is subsequently analyzed using the game-theoretic model offered by the theory of moves (TOM; Brams, 1993). Through the use of TOMs sequential games, the strategic nature of leaders perceived interactions with others can be assessed and contextualized. Lastly, to evaluate its usefulness in advancing proliferation scholarship, the proposed analytical framework is subjected to preliminary testing by applying it to two well-documented and debated proliferation cases, South Africa and India. Identifying Leaders Perceived Strategic Contexts Cognitive, agent-based models, while novel to the study of nuclear proliferation, are widely utilized in the foreign policy analysis scholarship being seen as both critical and necessary tools for understanding decision making (Hudson, 2007; Snyder, Bruck, & Sapin, 1962). Like all other foreign policy decisions, the decision whether to proliferate occurs within a specic decision environment providing the context for political actors deliberations (Sprout & Sprout, 1957). This environment, composed of both material and ideational factors, ultimately intersects at the agent level, bringing individual beliefs and perceptions to bear (Hudson, 2007). By examining the impact of human agency, foreign policy analysis tackles the problem of foreign policy substitutability, where given any combination of material and structural conditions there exist multiple policy outcomes (Most & Starr, 1989). This policy variation results from the involvement of individual decision makers giving way to the claim that who leads matters when explaining foreign policy actions (Hermann & Kegley, 1995).

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation

The importance of human actors appears especially decisive for understanding the phenomenon of nuclear proliferation. The environment surrounding proliferation decisions is exceptional not only in posing a momentous choice for leaders, but also due to a sense of chronic obscurity surrounding this decision given the numerous uncertainties confronting the decision maker (Hymans, 2006). This rareed decision environment makes nuclear proliferation decisions ideally suited for cognitive approaches given the assertion that individuals preferences and perceptions hold greater sway in atypical decision-making circumstances (Holsti, 1976; Hymans, 2006). As noted by an earlier author, scholars must always keep in mind that atomic bombs dont build themselves (Meyer, 1984, p. 18). Thus, the inclusion of the decision maker is crucial as the material and technical factors necessary for proliferation cannot alone sufciently explain the occurrence of proliferation. Accordingly, the cognitive, agent-based approaches found in the foreign policy analysis literature offer a potential avenue for gaining necessary insights about the critical, yet often elusive, variable of individual motivations driving proliferation decisions. The eld of foreign policy analysis offers several potential methods to identify and assess how individual leaders impact proliferation decisions. Each stresses the role of beliefs in shaping individuals attitudes which in turn inuence motivations and preferences for action when dealing with others. Relying on at-a-distance assessment techniques these approaches reveal how individuals see themselves and others. For example, through the technique of cognitive mapping connections and saliency of various themes can be developed and analyzed to detect patterns and shifts in a subjects thinking (Axelrod, 1976; Maoz, 1990). Alternatively, personality trait analysis, developed by Margret Hermann (1970, 2003), recognizes several personality traits, identied through an individuals language usage, revealing particular orientations towards the outside world. Such orientations may make individuals more or less interested in power and inuence and either open or closed to contradictory information that might alter ones beliefs. Bringing to bear these insights from cognitive assessments of leaders, a signicant and growing body of research has sought to further develop how individual cognitive factors inuence decision making. Notable among these efforts has been the development of the poliheuristic theory of decision making (Mintz, 1993, 2003; Mintz & Geva, 1997; Redd, 2002). Specically, poliheurisitc theory attempts to integrates elements of the cognitive psychology school of decision making with the elements of the rational choice school (Mintz, 2004, p. 4).1 This combination is achieved by conceptualizing decision making as a two-stage process. Initially, cognitive factors work to limit the range of choices deemed acceptable by a leader. In particular, domestic political considerations loom large over leaders decision making by imposing certain minimum criteria which all possible alternatives must satisfy in order to be considered (Brul, 2005; Mintz & Geva, 1997). This reduced list of acceptable alternatives is then subjected to a rationalistic treatment . . . based on analytic, expected utility or lexicographic rules of choice (Stern, 2004, p. 108; see also Redd, 2002). The work on poliheuristic theory emphasizes the continuing need to move beyond strict applications of rational choice and to incorporate the subjective and ideational factors inuencing decision making. Along this line of analysis, and of particular interests to this project, are the advances made in the operational code analysis research program. Of late, the operational code analysis research program has experienced a resurgence being applied to a wide array of issues and actors, demonstrating linkages between individuals beliefs and behaviors (Feng, 2006; Malici, 2006; Schafer, Robinson, & Aldrich, 2006). Focusing on the role of leaders operational code, this approach asserts that a leaders world view creates a template of beliefs about the utility of actions in dealing with other international actors (Schafer & Walker, 2006b, p. 561). Like the aforementioned cognitive approaches, operational code analysis assumes that internalized rules of conduct and norms of
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For more information readers are directed to two previous special journal issues devoted to the development and application of poliheuristic theory, the 2004 Journal of Conict Resolution 48(1) and the 2005 International Studies Perspectives 6(1).

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behavior shape leaders actions (Walker & Schafer, 2006b). What distinguishes operational code analysis is that it goes beyond isolated or singular foreign policy decisions seeking to more broadly conceptualize the self in situation in which leaders see themselves operating (Malici, 2008). This situation is dened by how individuals identify and differentiate their perceptions of self and other in the international political environment. This political environment is identied by analyzing a leaders public statements to identify perceptions about self and other (Schafer & Walker, 2006b; Walker, 1990, 1983; Walker, Schafer, & Young, 1998). From this analysis two distinct belief schemas are identied: one for self and one for other. Each possesses unique strategic preferences based on how the examined leader perceives the international political environment (Walker & Schafer, 2007). As will be discussed further below, combining the operational code with a sequential game theory construct, as offered by the theory of moves (Brams, 1993), allows for developing games joining the subjects beliefs about selfs best approach and strategy and selfs beliefs about others likely approach and strategy (Walker & Schafer, 2006a, p. 11). Hence, the operational code provides a strategic blueprint for action based on the preferences a leader attributes to himself and others. Consequently, the operational code analysis research agenda offers an innovative, but unutilized, approach for studying nuclear proliferation by identifying individual motivational factors behind such decisions. Specically, the focus of this project is to develop a leaders perceived strategic context. This perceived strategic context (hereinafter PSC) attempts to capture the interactive nature of a leaders world view so as to investigate how perceptions about self and other inuence outcomes by establishing the environment, or the context, for proliferation decision making. The interaction between perceptions of self and other is viewed as playing a critical role in a leaders strategic calculation. Proliferation decisions then are ultimately a function of pursuing ones selfinterest and anticipating the reactions of others. Identication and examination of a leaders PSC is accomplished through using operational code analysis and the theory of moves which connect expected preferences with strategic choice. These strategic preferences attributed to self and other provide a foundation for constructing a leaders unique PSC which ultimately may make him or her more or less willing to develop nuclear weapons. Identifying Preferences Through Operational Code Analysis As originally devised, the operational code was a psycho-cultural construct demonstrating how ideology dened actors political strategies (Leites, 1951, 1953). Further conceptualization of the notion of an individuals belief system was accomplished by Alexander George (1969) who devised the current operational code framework (Table 1). At its core an individuals operational code is comprised of two interrelated parts: philosophical beliefs (P) about the nature of the political universe, and instrumental beliefs (I) about tactical approaches to best achieve political goals. According to George, the operational code is identied by answering a set of 10 questions which capture an individuals essential beliefs about the international political environment. These beliefs are seen as causal mechanisms steering leaders actions by shaping their perceptions of reality (Walker & Schafer, 2006a). These beliefs underlying the operational code are identied through analysis of a leaders public statements about the exercise of power attributed to self and other. A specically devised content analysis coding scheme, the verbs in context system (VICS), is utilized to code both the directionality (negative vs. positive) and intensity (weak vs. strong) of the verbs used by an individual pertaining to power relationships in the international system and the exercise of power by self and others (Young, 2001; Young & Schafer, 1998). While addressing Georges 10 questions, three specic questions, the answers to which constitute the so-called master beliefs, are singled out for closer analysis. These particular questions capture a leaders philosophical beliefs about the nature

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation Table 1. Georges Ten Questions About Operational Code Beliefs The Philosophical Beliefs in an Operational Code P-1. What is the essential nature of political life? Is the political universe essentially one of harmony or conict? What is the fundamental character of ones political opponents? P-2. What are the prospects for the realizations of ones fundamental values and aspirations? Can one be optimistic, or must one be pessimistic? P-3. Is the political future predictable? In what sense and to what extent? P-4. How much control or mastery can one have over historical development? What is ones role in moving and shaping history in the desired direction? P-5. What is the role of chance in human affairs and in historical development? The Instrumental Beliefs in an Operational Code I-1. What is the best approach for selecting goals or objectives for political action? I-2. How are the goals of action pursued most effectively? I-3. How are the risks of political action calculated, controlled, and accepted? I-4. What is the best timing of action to advance ones interests? I-5. What is the utility and role of different means for advancing ones interests?

of the overall political universe (P-1), the ability to control historical developments (P-4), and the instrumental belief about strategic approaches (cooperation vs. conict) to achieve ones goals (I-1) (Walker, 1983, 1990). The resulting quantitative scores, obtained from VICS, allow for identication of individual leaders beliefs and in drawing comparisons between leaders.2 Specically, the master beliefs allow for identifying a leaders perceptions of self and other as one of four leader types. These four distinct leader typologies are distinguished by their differing views about the inherent nature of international politics and ones ability to control events (Holsti, 1977; Walker, 1990; Walker & Schafer, 2006a). These four distinct leader types, labeled A, B, C, and D, are depicted and summarized in Figure 1 with each separated from the other by the horizontal and vertical axes, representing the master beliefs P-4 and P-1/I-1, respectively. Having located an individuals perceptions about self and other within the Operational Code Typologies Matrix, expectations are developed regarding how these different leaders order their strategic preferences (settlement, domination, deadlock, and submission) when dealing with others (Walker & Schafer, 2006a). Based on these inferred preferences attributed to self and other, a given leaders particular subjective games can be constructed (Maoz, 1990; Walker & Schafer, 2006a). The intersecting preferences for self and other result in a 2 2 game with ordinal preference rankings for outcomes formed by the strategic choices of conict (CF) or cooperate (CO). These games allow for anticipating the strategies pursued by both self and other in a particular interaction by accounting for each players expected preferences. While the resulting dyadic game may not mirror reality, it provides a framework for choice and action ultimately inuenced by a leaders subjective beliefs (Mareet & Walker, 2006, 60). Depicting these games and anticipated strategic moves of the players is accomplished using the sequential game theory known as the theory of moves (Brams, 1993). Assessing Leaders PSCs with Theory of Moves The benet of using TOM, rather than conventional game theory, is its ability to offer a dynamic examination that more realistically captures the action-reaction nature of international politics (Walker & Schafer, 2006a). TOMs key assumption is that the players alternate moves until reaching an end point where neither player chooses to move again. Achieving the nal state equilibrium of
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For a detailed discussion of the quantitative scoring of the philosophical and instrumental beliefs comprising the operational code, see Schafer and Walker (2006a).

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(P-1/I-1) Type A
Conflict is temporary, caused by human misunderstanding and miscommunication. A conflictual spiral, based upon misperception and impulsive responses, is the major danger of war. Opponents are often influenced in kind to conciliation and firmness. Optimism is warranted, based upon a leaders ability and willingness to shape historical development. The future is relatively predictable, and control over it is possible. Establish goals within a framework that emphasizes shared interests. Pursue broadly international goals incrementally with flexible strategies that control risk by avoiding escalation and acting quickly when conciliation opportunities arise. Emphasize resources that establish a climate for negotiation and compromise and avoid the early use of force. Strategic Preference Ordering:

Type C
Conflict is temporary; it is possible to restructure the state system to reflect the latent harmony of interests. The source of conflict is the anarchical state system, which permits a variety of causes to produce war. Opponents vary in nature, goals and responses to conciliation and firmness. One should be pessimistic about goals unless the state system changes, because predictability and control over historical development is low under anarchy. Establish optimal goals vigorously with a comprehensive framework. Pursue shared goals, but control risks by limiting means rather than ends. Act quickly when conciliation opportunities arise and delay escalatory actions whenever possible; other resources than military capabilities are useful.

Strategic Preference Ordering:

Settle>Deadlock>Dominate>Submit (P-4) Type D


Conflict is permanent, caused by human nature (D), nationalism (E), or international anarchy (F). Power disequilibria are major dangers of war. Opponents may vary, and responses to conciliation and firmness are uncertain. Optimism declines over the long run and in the short run depends upon the quality of leadership and a power equilibrium. Predictability is limited, as is control over historical development. Seek limited goal flexibly with moderate means. Use military force if the opportunity and circumstances require it, but only as a final resort. Strategic Preference Ordering:

Settle>Dominate>Deadlock>Submit

Type B
Conflict is temporary, caused by warlike states; miscalculation and appeasement are the major causes of war. Opponents are rational and deterrable. Optimism is warranted regarding realization of goals. The political future is relatively predictable, and control over historical developments is possible. One should seek optimal goals vigorously within a comprehensive framework. Control risks by limiting means rather than ends. Any tactic and resource may be appropriate, including the use of force when it offers prospects for large gains with limited risks.

Strategic Preference Ordering:

Dominate>Settle>Deadlock>Submit

Dominate>Deadlock>Settle>Submit

Figure 1. Operational Code Typologies Matrix. Source: Walker, 1983, 1990.

the game, from where neither player wishes to move, demands that players think strategically not only as to how their move may alter the outcome, but also think ahead about how an opponents reaction might produce a superior or inferior outcome (Brams, 1993; Walker & Schafer, 2007). The general rules of TOM specify: (1) the game begins in some quadrant of the normal form depiction (initial state); (2) the initiating player has the option of staying at the initial states or changing his strategy to move to a new quadrant; (3) the responding player can likewise switch or not; (4) players will not move from a state unless it will lead (eventually) to a more preferred outcome; (5) these response opportunities alternate until the player whose turn it is to move chooses not to, or (6) play returns to the initial state (Brams, 1993; Mareet & Walker, 2006, p. 61). Given its unique rules, a TOM solution to a game may differ from that expected when using conventional game theory.

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation

OTHER CO SELF CF CO 3, 3 __ 4, 1 | CF 1, 4 __ 2, 2 CO SELF CF

OTHER CO CF Settle Submit SELF Dominate Deadlock

OTHER CO CO 3, 3 __ 4, 1 | CF 1, 4 | 2, 2

CF

Selfs Strategy: Stay

Self Outcomes

Others Strategy: Stay

The initial state is in Quotation marks and the final state is BOLD for each game. The symbol indicates the respective strategic choices of move or stay by the player with the next move (Self) given the initial state (Brams 1993). The underlined state(s) indicate potential game outcomes.
Figure 2. Example of a subjective game.

In particular, TOM solutions may offer multiple nonmyopic equilibria (NMEs), which may include the standard Nash equilibria dependent upon the initial state of a game (Brams, 1993).3 Depending on the initial state of a game, TOM assumes that players will choose to move or stay, by switching strategies, depending on whether a better nal outcome is attainable. The resulting game equilibria allows for determining the anticipated nal game outcome and predicting players expected strategies given any particular initial state of the game. As shown below, the combination of operational code and TOM offers unique analytical insights by endogenizing leaders actual preferences into strategic interaction scenarios (Walker & Schafer, 2006a). An example of a possible subjective game, and the solutions offered by TOM, is depicted in Figure 2. The game is structured with each player having a choice between strategies of cooperation (CO) or conict (CF) towards the other player with each facing four possible outcomes: settlement, domination, submission, or deadlock based on their strategic decision. Starting from an initial state, which may be either randomly assigned or historically derived, players strategies may vary according to this initial state depending on whether moving brings about a more preferred outcome and the potential countermoves that might be made by the other player (Brams, 1993; Malici, 2008). This hypothetical PSC depicts a situation where an individual believes both self and other to be Type D leaders possessing the ordered strategic preferences scripts of Dominate> Settle> Deadlock> Submit. This subjective game resembles the classic prisoners dilemma. Accordingly, if the initial state of the interaction is presumed to be that of deadlock (CF, CF), the game is expected to persist at this state given the preferences of the players. Rather than expose themselves to possible domination by the other, both players prefer to stay, continuing with a conict strategy. Recalling the rules of TOM a second outcome is possible in this scenario, however. If the initial state of the interaction, as shown in Figure 2, is one of mutual cooperation (CO, CO) then that becomes the expected nal outcome. Given the subjects presumptions about others strategic preferences he recognizes that efforts to Dominate (CF, CO or CO, CF) will provoke a countermove by the opponent forcing the game into a less desirable outcome of Deadlock (2, 2). As neither player can hope to improve the outcome by shifting strategies (i.e., moving) the expectation is that both will stay at this cooperative state despite predilections to conict. Accordingly, this framework explicitly recognizes that actors in the international system act strategically by looking ahead towards the future, as outcomes depend as much, if not more, on ones perceptions of other than of self (Walker & Schafer, 2006a).
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A nonmyopic equilibrium (NME) is dened as a game state from which neither player, anticipating all possible rational moves and countermoves from the initial state, would have an incentive to depart unilaterally because departure would eventually lead to a worse outcome, or at least, not a better one (Brams, 1993, p. 224).

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As demonstrated, operational code analysis proves especially useful in developing a leaders PSC as it captures both an individuals belief about selfs best approach and strategy and selfs beliefs about others likely approach and strategy (Walker & Schafer, 2006a, p. 11). This combined information creates the dyadic interaction central to the idea of PSC whereby self and other may have either similar or divergent interests (i.e., strategic preferences). Actively depicting a specic leaders PSC, through such subjective games, may be wrong or off target compared to reality, and external observers may be able to identify a game that more directly ts reality. . . . However, it seems that the subjective beliefs held by leaders are the ones that are most likely to inuence his/her choice of moves (Walker & Schafer, 2006a, p. 11). Ultimately, the resulting interaction allows for examining leaders decisions based on the strategic logic imposed by their unique PSC rather than constructing an interaction based on either randomly or incorrectly assumed preferences. Perceived Strategic Context and Hypothesized Proliferation Outcomes While operational code analysis helps to develop a leaders PSC an additional step is required in connecting leaders perceptions to proliferation outcomes. This is accomplished by exploiting the base assumptions of the prevailing proliferation models offered by realism and liberalism. Dividing these theoretical perspectives are their differing assessments about the essential nature of the international system: Is it one of cooperation or conict? How should one interact with others? These questions demonstrate the probative power offered by operational code analysis as at its core it attempts to address how individuals views of self, others, and the nature of the international system inform decisions and actions (Walker & Schafer, 2006b). The realist security model of proliferation posits a view of the nature of the international system as one prone to conict given its anarchical nature and the need for states to be self-reliant in terms of their own survival (Sagan, 1996/1997; Sagan & Waltz, 2002; Waltz, 1979, 1990). States pursue nuclear weapons as a means of enhancing their capabilities to better provide for their security and achieve national interests. Consequently, those states which choose not to proliferate in the face of external threats, especially other nuclear-armed states, do so at their own peril. A general expectation emerges where more conict-oriented leaders (Type D and B) should be predisposed towards nuclear proliferation, having a greater propensity to choose proliferation, based on their views of the international system and strategies to achieve political goals. Meanwhile, the liberalist explanation depicts actors in the international system as inclined to cooperate with lesser emphasis given to military capabilities and tactics tied to the use of force. States are able to attain greater gains through mutual cooperation with other states in the international system. Instead of being a source of power, nuclear weapons may actually hinder efforts to pursue cooperation and integration into the international community (Solingen, 1994, 2007). The expectation, therefore, would be that cooperativeoriented leaders (Type A and C) are far less predisposed towards nuclear proliferation exhibiting a lower propensity to choose proliferation. However, rather than depicting an objective game, a leaders PSC depicts a subjective game. This is a critical distinction as rather than assuming that both players know the game being played, the framework attempts only to understand and predict the actions of one player based on his perceptions of self and other (Walker & Schafer, 2007). The crucial leverage gained by this framework is the recognition and incorporation of how a given leaders beliefs about self and other impact interaction outcomes. Signicantly, perceptions about other and their anticipated reactions establish parameters for action by self, either constraining or presenting strategic opportunities. Given that each leader type possesses differently ordered strategic preferences, the nal outcome of any interaction depends on the combination of how a leader envisions both self and other. While a given leader may view self as cooperative, preferring tactics that emphasize shared interests, it does not mean that he will simply capitulate in the face of a perceived hostile, conict-oriented opponent.

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation

Rather, such a view of other will drive the strategies and tactics employed by a leader to obtain the best possible outcome given the particular interaction. Utilizing the operational code typologies 16 possible dyadic interactions emerge. Each represents a potential PSC. These interactions and resulting proliferation expectations are illustrated in Table 2. Based on the characterization for leader types, their respective views of the international system, and preferred strategies, proliferation expectations for each possible pairing are initially hypothesized. In the case of a perceived pairing of Type A leaders the proliferation expectation is low. This anticipated outcome is based on identical cooperative orientations and an emphasis on negotiation and compromise projected for self and other. In this PSC scenario nuclear weapons are neither necessary for security nor useful in pursuing optimal strategies. Conversely, the case where a leader perceives both self and other as Type B leaders represents the most likely scenario for the occurrence of proliferation. This PSC envisions both self and other as conict-oriented, possessing a sense of high degree of control over outcomes, believing that any tactic and resource may be appropriate in achieving ones goals, and seeking maximum power capabilities for tactical exibility. This scenario epitomizes the security model as the prospect of likely conict compels a leader towards possessing nuclear weapons as a matter of state survival. For that reason proliferation is the expected end result. Indeed, in all pairings involving a Type B leader, it is initially hypothesized that proliferation will occur as their preference to dominate interactions will provoke otherwise cooperative-oriented leaders down the path of proliferation. Having established the foundations for the potential importance of a leaders PSC, the effort now turns to preliminary testing to determine what insights can be attained by applying this framework to actual proliferation decisions. This framework advances a strong case for the impact of leaders perceptions, asserting their necessary and causal importance, in explaining proliferation outcomes as being steered by leaders willingness to proliferate given their particular PSC. By accounting for this often ignored, or unaccounted for, variable the efcacy of the various preexisting models explaining nuclear proliferation, such as competing claims about external threats versus domestic politics, can be better assessed. Moreover, even in those instances where the PSC framework does not provide a denitive result it may aid in judging the sufciency of existing explanations.
Table 2. Expectations for Proliferation Outcomes Given Leaders PSC Perception of Other Perception of Self Type A Idealist Set>Dead>Dom>Sub Type C Liberalist Set>Dom>Dead>Sub Type D Realist (Defensive) Dom>Set>Dead>Sub Type B Realist (Offensive) Dom>Dead>Set>Sub Type A Idealist Set>Dead>Dom>Sub No (never) No Type C Liberalist Set>Dom>Dead>Sub No Type D Realist (Defensive) Dom>Set>Dead>Sub Mixed outcome* Type B Realist (Offensive) Dom>Dead>Set>Sub Yes

No

Mixed outcome*

Yes

No

No

Mixed outcome*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (always)

*Final outcome dependent on the assumption of repeated play, the initial states of the interaction, and which player has the next move. Set = Settle; Sub = Submit; Dom = Dominate; Dead = Deadlock.

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Application to Historical Proliferation Decisions This new analytical framework is tested by applying it to two historical cases of nuclear proliferation, South Africa and India. These two cases offer particularly constructive tests by offering variation on the dependent variable by presenting differing proliferation outcomes. Additionally, having been previously and extensively examined, these cases provide fertile ground for testing the PSC framework by permitting competitive theory testing by comparing the differing outcomes offered by the various explanatory models (Hymans, 2006). For introductory purposes a brief summation of the prevailing explanations for the South African and Indian proliferation outcomes is presented; however, given space constraints, full accountings must be left to the numerous existing comprehensive accounts of each case (see Hymans, 2006; Liberman, 2001; Paul, 2002; Perkovich, 1999; Reiss, 1995).

South Africa The South African proliferation experience presents the only historical instance where a state having developed nuclear weapons capability subsequently abandoned, or roll backed, its program. Both the decision to proliferate, made by Prime Minister Balthazar Johannes (John) Vorster, in 1977, and the subsequent roll back decision, made by President Frederik Willem (F.W.) De Klerk, in 1993, have been alternatively explained by both the security and domestic politics models. In the case of Vorsters decision, advocates of the security model rely heavily on South Africas deteriorating security environment in the 1970s (Betts, 1979; Horton, 1999; Moore, 1987; Stumpf, 1995/1996). Specically, South Africas security climate was negatively impacted by several factors, including the mounting chaos and violence in neighboring Mozambique and Angola. Additionally, the issues of the South West territory, the support for the white-minority government in Rhodesia, and the domestic policy of apartheid served to increasingly isolate South Africa from much of the international community. Concurrently, South Africas domestic Atomic Energy Commission is also credited as playing an inuential role in the proliferation decision (Horton, 1999; Liberman, 2001; Purkitt & Burgess, 2005; Sagan, 1996/1997). The importance of developing a robust civilian atomic energy program, and the inuence of the scientic community at the highest levels of government, purportedly pushed for expanding the nuclear program, eventually blurring the separation between civilian and military applications. According to this domestic politics explanation, the impetus for testing and development of atomic weapons was an outgrowth of the atomic research agenda aggressively lobbied for by the scientic community. Meanwhile, De Klerks 1993 roll back decision is also variously, and alternatively, explained as resulting from either security or domestic political motivations. By the late 1980s, the security situation in Southern Africa had markedly improved following the resolutions of the Rhodesia and the South West territory disputes and with a peace agreement ending the Angola conict (Albright, 2004; Long & Grillot, 2000; Stumpf, 1995/1996). Previous security fears that South Africa might face a total onslaught by black nationalists or communist forces had dissipated signicantly. Hence, if grounded in a security rationale, the justication for a nuclear deterrent capability no longer remained. Domestically, changes within the government, specically at the highest level of advisors, resulted in a diminished political role for nuclear weapons advocates (Liberman, 2001; Purkitt & Burgess, 2005; Reiss, 1995). Notably, De Klerk, along with several members of his new cabinet, viewed the nuclear weapons program as a drain on national resources and as an obstacle to improving South Africas international position (De Klerk, 1999; de Villiers, Jardine, & Reiss, 1993).

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation

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India The case of India provides another country offering two proliferation decisions for analysis. However, unlike South Africa, India presents two leaders, Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who both decided to conduct explicit nuclear tests. Despite the similar decisional outcomes, the accounts discussing the motives for the Indian proliferation events of 1974 and 1998 vary as widely as do the leaders who authorized them. On the one hand, Indira Gandhi is viewed as a complex character: a stateswoman committed to pursuing an alternative path for India during the Cold War and a domestic leader of a country undergoing signicant turmoil. Facing increasing domestic political unrest, Gandhis decision has been viewed as an attempt to strengthen her governments fragile political position by celebrating the national achievement of a successful nuclear detonation (Perkovich, 1999). Sagan (1996/1997) has labeled this as the diversionary domestic politics explanation. However, the security model also resonates as a potential basis for the decision given fears about Chinese power, which was already a nuclear power, as well as more immediate and persisting security concerns regarding Pakistan in the wake of 1971 war (Paul, 1998, 2002; Thomas, 2002). An additional argument for the 1974 test points to the role of domestic organizations. Specically, the Indian nuclear science community, possessing deep institutional roots dating back to before national independence, was seen as a major advocate for the peaceful nuclear explosion (PNE) (Abraham, 1998; Mansingh, 1984; Moshaver, 1990; Perkovich, 1999). Meanwhile, Vajpayee is depicted as a seasoned domestic political operator, serving nearly four decades in government, in both the minority and majority, and being driven by a strain of Hindi nationalism bent on asserting a heightened position for India, regionally and globally. As in the case of the 1974 PNE, the 1998 test decision is also described as resulting from various motivations. In light of a rising Pakistan with its continuing claims to the disputed Kashmir region and its own proliferation efforts, Vajpayees decision is cast as a classic security-driven response (Paul, 1998, 2002). Yet, domestic politics attains some traction in explaining the decision given the nationalist agenda of Vajpayees BJP party which had long supported nuclear weapons development in order to demonstrate Indias scientic prowess and as an expression of national pride (Cohen, 2000; Kampani, 1998; Perkovich, 2002). In particular, Vajpayees erce brand of nationalism is credited by one recent study as being the signicant motivating factor driving the 1998 proliferation decision (Hymans, 2006). Data Reporting and Analysis To identify the PSC for each leader relevant to this study, a sampling of their public statements and speeches, including domestic and international addresses, writings, as well as interviews, prior to their respective proliferation decisions were collected for analysis. The public statements, varying in length and audience, were aggregated for the purposes of making analytical inferences regarding each leaders PSC prior to their proliferation decision.4 Each leaders statements were analyzed and coded by running each statement through a computer software program called ProlerPlus which automatically applies the VICS coding scheme and computes the indices scores to produce a subjects operational code. The computed operational code scores for each leader are identied and compared in Table 3 with one another along with the average scores of

The number of public statements and attributions examined for each leader were as follows: Vorster, 40 statements (1,381 attributions); De Klerk, 28 statements (638 attributions); Gandhi, 25 statements (1,035 attributions); Vajpayee, 23 statements (1,852 attributions).

12 Table 3. The Operational Code of South African and Indian Leaders Philosophical Beliefs P-1. P-2. P-3. P-4. a. b. P-5. Nature of the Political Universe (Friendly/Hostile) Realization of Political Values (Pessimistic/Optimistic) Predictability of Political Future (Low/High) Control Over Historical Development (Low/High) Selfs Control Others Control Role of Chance Vorster .33 .14 .10 .24 .76 .98 De Klerk .52 .34 .11 .26 .74 .97 Gandhi .36 .21 .11 .23 .77 .97 Vajpayee .22 .07 .11 .30 .70 .97

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Avg. Leader .28 .13 .09 .21 .79 .98

Instrumental Beliefs I-1. I-2. I-3. I-4. a. b. I-5. a. b. c. d. e. f. Strategic Approach to Goals (Cooperative/Conictual) Tactical Pursuit of Goals (Cooperative/Conictual) Risk Orientation (Averse/Acceptant) Timing of Action Cooperation/Conict Words/Deeds Utility of Means Reward Promise Appeal/Support Oppose/Resist Threaten Punish .30 .08 .16 .70 .60 .13 .04 .48 .14 .03 .17 .66 .37 .45 .34 .60 .25 .12 .46 .07 .04 .06 .53 .27 .21 .47 .57 .21 .04 .52 .14 .02 .08 .58 .27 .29 .42 .51 .18 .02 .59 .11 >.01 .07 .39 .15 .19 .59 .51 .14 .07 .49 .14 .04 .12

The master beliefs (P-1, P-4a/b, and I-1) indicated in bold.

a sample of world leaders.5 The results reveal important differences and similarities among the various leaders, particularly among the master beliefs. For instance, in viewing the nature of the political universe (P-1), De Klerk, the one leader actually deciding to roll back his countrys nuclear weapons program, exhibits a much more positive, or friendly, world view, exceeding that of the other leaders and the average world leader. Meanwhile, each leader possesses greater condence in the ability to control historical developments (P-4) than the average world leader. As for a strategic approach to achieving goals (I-1), three of the leaders, De Klerk, Gandhi, and Vajpayee, are distinguishable in exhibiting greater reliance on cooperative approaches. Lastly, only Vorster displays beliefs moving away from the average world leader indicating a more conictual approach for achieving goals. From these operational code scores, perceptions for self and other are identied which serve as the foundations for each leaders respective PSC. For each examined leader two points, one for perceptions of self and one for perceptions of other, are located and plotted in the operational code typology matrix as displayed in Figure 3. The coordinates for locating a leaders images of self and other in one of the four quadrants of the typology matrix are determined by referencing the means and standard deviations of the average world-leader sampling. These points are plotted using the z-scores for self (I-1, P-4a) and other (P-1, P-4b) which are then expressed as standard deviations from the means of the average world-leader sample. The mean values for this average world-leader group are: P-1 = .28 (SD = .20); I-1 = .39 (SD = .23); P-4a = .21 (SD = .07); and P-4b = .79 (SD = .07; see Walker & Schafer, 2006a, 2007).
5

The average world-leader operational code scores are based on a sampling of public statements from a variety of world leaders from different regions and eras as developed by previous operational code studies (Walker, Schafer, & Young, 2003). For other studies using this average world-leader group data, see Walker and Schafer (2007), Malici (2006), Malici and Malici (2005), and Feng (2006).

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Type A

(I-1/P-1)

Type C

(P-4)

Type D
Figure 3. Operational code typologies matrix. Table 4. Leaders Perceptions, Attributions, and Preference Ordering Leaders Perceptions Vorster Self Other De Klerk Self Other Gandhi Self Other Vajpayee Self Other Leader Type Type B Type A Type C Type A Type C Type A Type C Type D

Type B

Inferred Preferences Dominate>Deadlock>Settle>Submit Settle>Deadlock>Dominate>Submit Settle>Dominate>Deadlock>Submit Settle>Deadlock>Dominate>Submit Settle>Dominate>Deadlock>Submit Settle>Deadlock>Dominate>Submit Settle>Dominate>Deadlock>Submit Dominate>Settle>Deadlock>Submit

In applying the assumptions derived from the identied typologies for self and other presumptions about the ordering of strategic preference are then made. The inferred preferences based on the typology for each leaders perception of self and other is shown in Table 4. Important differences between the leaders perceptions of self and other are immediately recognizable. These perceptions offer a range of PSCs, representing a diversity of interactions, given divergent preferences attributed

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Vorsters Subjective Game: OTHER CO SELF CF CO 2, 4 4, 1 CF 1, 2 __ 3, 3 CO SELF CF Dominate Deadlock CO Settle OTHER CF Submit CO SELF CF CO 2, 4 __ 4, 1 OTHER

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CF 1, 2

3, 3

Vorsters Strategy: Stay or Cycle

South Africa Outcomes

Others Strategy: Stay

De Klerks Subjective Game:


OTHER CO SELF CF CO 4, 4 __ 3, 1 CF 1, 2 2, 3 CO SELF CF Dominate Deadlock CO Settle OTHER CF Submit CO SELF CF CO 4, 4 3, 1 OTHER CF 1, 2 2, 3

De Klerks Strategy: Move

South Africa Outcomes

Others Strategy: Move

Gandhis Subjective Game:


OTHER CO SELF CF CO 4, 4 __ 3, 1 CF 1, 2 2, 3 CO SELF CF Dominate Deadlock CO Settle OTHER CF Submit CO SELF CF CO 4, 4 3, 1 OTHER CF 1, 2 2, 3

Gandhis Strategy: Move

India Outcomes

Others Strategy: Move

Vajpayees Subjective Game:


OTHER CO SELF CF CO 4, 3 __ 3, 1 CF 1, 4 _ 2, 2 CO SELF CF Dominate Deadlock CO Settle OTHER CF Submit CO SELF CF CO 4, 3 3, 1 OTHER CF 1, 4 2, 2

Vajpayees Strategy: Stay

India Outcomes

Others Strategy: Move

Game state(s) in quotations indicate the assumed initial state for the players. Game state underlined indicate the final state (outcome) of the game. Arrows indicate moves by players, arrows with bars indicate a non-move.

Figure 4. Leaders perceived subjective games.

to self and other. The resulting interactions for each leader are placed in the TOM game framework, as shown in Figure 4, which depict the Nonmyopic Equilibrium (NME) for each leaders subjective game, the strategy of each player given an initial state of deadlock, and the path to the NME from this initial state. South Africa (Vorster and De Klerk) The interaction produced by Vorsters PSC results in a conict game based on his perceptions of self and other possesses very different ordered preferences. Other is viewed as a Type A leader

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation

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disposed to pursuing an assurance strategy in hopes of achieving a cooperation/cooperation outcome (2, 4). This outcome is ultimately unstable, however, given Vorsters inclination to pursue a confrontational strategy. As confrontation is his dominant strategy, Vorster is prone to push the interaction to a state of conict/cooperation in order to achieve his highest valued outcome (4, 1), or, at worst, his second-best outcome (3, 3). The inevitable outcome of this interaction is Deadlock (3, 3), regardless of what might be assessed to be the initial state of the interaction, so long as other is unwilling to submit. The reviews of South Africas proliferation decision have offered indeterminate answers for why the Vorster government progressed down the proliferation pathway. Analysis of Vorsters PSC offers new insights by highlighting his perception of the international environment as a substantial factor shaping his proliferation decision. External security threats and a growing domestic nuclear industrial-complex provided opportunities for proliferation, however. Vorster needed little in the way of prompting given his disposition towards the international system. Identifying himself as a Type B offensive realist, Vorster leaned towards developing capabilities to vigorously pursuing favorable outcomes. Subsequently, Vorsters pursuit of nuclear weapons is an expected outgrowth of his conict-oriented view of the international system and resulting strategic preferences. It is important to note that Vorsters proclivity toward nuclear proliferation is not in reaction to other, but generated by self-motivations. Accordingly, Vorsters decision to proliferate matches the expectation devised by the strategic interaction framework whereby Type B leaders pursue proliferation regardless of their perceptions of others. Meanwhile, De Klerks PSC stands in stark contrast to Vorsters. De Klerks PSC presents a more harmonious interaction with both sides desiring settlement rst and foremost. De Klerks perceptions of self and other results in a mutual assurance game with both players interested in cooperation so as to obtain their highest preference/payoff (4, 4). In analyzing this interaction, the initial state which seemingly best characterizes the state of affairs between South Africa and the international community at the time appears to be the game-state of Deadlock. The existing scholarship examining the historical context surrounding De Klerks rise to power in South Africa points to the strained relationship between South Africa and much of the international community. Subject to widespread economic sanctions from the West, including the United States, South Africa was experiencing international isolations, accompanied by increasing economic stress. The white minority government in South Africa and the international community were at an impasse as the De Klerk government came to power. Regardless of the initial state of the interaction, De Klerks subjective game eventually reaches a resolution of cooperate, cooperate permitting the highest possible payoff for both players (4, 4). De Klerks PSC is indicative of a leader prone towards increased international cooperation. His view of self, as a Type C leader, is somewhat tempered or pragmatic. He perceives other as a Type A leader being even more prone to cooperative settlements. This perception reinforces De Klerks beliefs about the international community as cooperative and willing to reward his governments domestic reforms. His beliefs about power and control are arguably portrayed by his actions during the contentious negotiations with black nationalists groups, in particular the ANC. Rather than yielding to the interests of such groups, he stood rm on a power-sharing arrangement throughout, rejecting policies that might jeopardize ongoing efforts to liberalize the countrys economy. This exemplies De Klerks overall beliefs, reecting a willingness to cooperate while also being unwilling to sacrice certain policies given his perception of control over historical outcomes. Indeed, his beliefs point to a leader more likely to pursue ambitious cooperative gambits, such as rolling back nuclear proliferation. Analysis of De Klerks PSC lends additional credibility to the hypotheses about the disdain of nuclear weapons held by outward-looking, liberal-internationalist leaders and regimes (Liberman, 2001; Solingen, 2007). For such leaders the utility of nuclear weapons, and the benets of engaging

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in proliferation, are viewed as negligible, if not harmful to interests. In this scenario, De Klerks actions attest to the fact that he perceived far greater benets in relinquishing South Africas nuclear weapons and by signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Moreover, the results from examining De Klerks perceived strategic interaction offer further credence to the efcacy of this analytical framework as the ndings match the expectation that such a leader (Type C) in this particular strategic interaction (Type C vs. Type A) would nd little benet in pursuing nuclear proliferation, or certainly in possessing nuclear weapons. India (Gandhi and Vajpayee) The analysis of Gandhis PSC provides further insights as to the motivations behind the 1974 PNE. Foremost, her PSC casts doubt on the importance of security concerns in explaining the outcome. Gandhis PSC depicts an interaction where both sides are perceived as seeking a nal outcome of mutual settlement (cooperate, cooperate) with both receiving their highest payoff (4, 4). Additionally, this interaction presents a situation where the initial state of the interaction does not matter as both players will pursue strategies to bring about a mutually cooperative outcome. As envisioned by Gandhi, both players, in valuing settlement over domination, are willing to undertake otherwise vulnerable strategies given their expectation of reciprocity. Through this anticipated strategy Gandhi believes both players may achieve their optimal outcome of mutual cooperation (4) versus the suboptimal dominate (2) or deadlock (3) outcomes. Gandhis actual proliferation decision, however, runs counter to the expected outcome given her PSC. Rather than seeking to control risks, as expected of a Type C leader, the PNE was a major gamble for Gandhi, one that in many ways backred given the reaction of the international community. The picture of the 1974 PNE that develops is one of an event detached from Gandhis view of the international political environment. The conclusion based on examining Gandhis PSC leads away from a systemic, security-based explanation as her world view does not express desires or concerns about domination. Her world view and strategic preferences devalue the use of force, escalatory tactics, or the need to accumulate military resources and capabilities. This anomalous result offers an important nding which suggests downgrading security motivations and recognizing Gandhis decision as stemming from domestic political considerations rather than the international political environment. In contrast to Gandhis mutual cooperation and settlement game, Vajpayees resulting subjective game presents asymmetrical ordered preferences for self and other. While Vajpayee prefers settlement as his best outcome, he believes that other would prefer to dominate the interaction rather than settling. As compared to the other subjective games examined, Vajpayees PSC, in depicting self as a Type C leader and other as Type D, creates an environment where the initial state of the interaction and the strategic initiative of the other player signicantly impact the nal outcome. If one assumes an initial state of deadlock (2, 2) for Vajpayees subjective game, his best strategy is to stay with a strategy of conict.6 This strategy allows for his second-best and second-worst outcomes while avoiding the potentiality of his worst outcome of submitting. Hence, for Vajpayee, its better to stay in a state of deadlock given his expectation that a move on his part, taking the interaction to the state of (1, 4), will not be reciprocated by other, who prefers that state as their optimal outcome, leaving Vajpayee at his worst outcome. However, while deadlock is likely to continue, there does exist a possibility of achieving a mutually cooperative outcome (4, 3) which, according to the rules of TOM, should be the logical nal state. Such an outcome is wholly dependent on the actions taken by other as they hold the strategic initiative to break the deadlock. Vajpayees PSC requires that other move rst from its
6

This same game play logic holds if the initial state were (1, 4), as Vajpayee would move to counter others conict strategy, pushing the interaction to deadlock (2, 2) which would then also return the strategic initiative (i.e., the next move) to other.

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation

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strategy of conict to cooperation. In turn, Vajpayee is willing to reciprocate others cooperative gesture moving the interaction to a mutually cooperative outcome. The difculty of attaining this outcome is considerable as it requires that other perceives the interaction the same as Vajpayee and, more crucially, is willing to accept, if only briey, Indian dominance. Alternatively, if the initial state of Vajpayees subjective game was at (3, 1), with India pursuing a conict strategy and other acting in a cooperative manner, then the strategic initiative to achieve settlement (4, 3) would rest squarely on Vajpayee, requiring him to shift strategies. While achieving Vajpayees best outcome, such a move would also drastically improve the situation for other in moving from their worst to second-best outcome. If Vajpayee defers on switching strategies, and effectively yields the strategic initiative, then other is expected to move to escape their worst outcome for their second-worst outcome of deadlock. Given the importance of the initial state on the outcome of Vajpayees perceived subjective game, the historical context surrounding Vajpayees return to power in March of 1998 is an important factor to be considered. While the extent of the security threat facing India leading up to May 1998 may be debatable, the effort here is not to claim an objective nal answer, but rather to ascertain what the subjective perceptions of Indian leaders, specically Vajpayee, likely were at the time of the decision. The precarious nature of Indias security situation in the mid-1990s can be viewed in terms of the assertiveness of its regional rival Pakistan, as highlighted by the Ghauri missile test in April of 1998. This action was viewed by some as a direct challenge to the incoming BJP-led government which was more than willing to match such provocation. Combining Vajpayees view of other in the international system as generally more conict-oriented, along with the problematic state of affairs concerning Indias security setting, the most likely initial states appear to be either Submit (1, 4) or Deadlock (2, 2). Given these likely starting points for the interaction and Vajpayees PSC, it is not surprising that he would pursued a conictual strategy leading to a decision in favor of proliferation. Moreover, the domestic political climate contributed to the 1998 outcome as the development of Indias amorphous nuclear option policy, following the 1974 PNE, provided Vajpayee with the technical means for the conducting the tests. Whether stemming from short-term provocations from rival Pakistan or other security concerns reemerging in the aftermath of the Cold War, what is clear is that Vajpayee and his political party, the BJP, were long-standing promoters of a nuclear weapons capable India. In his public statements, Vajpayee reveals a world view suggesting that while cooperation is possible he sees others as predisposed to dominate outcomes. Accordingly, his PSC demands caution on his part towards others requiring alternatively conciliation or rmness depending on the adversary and situation. The uncertainty of Indias regional and geo-strategic position, coinciding with Vajpayees PSC, appears to have solidied his willingness to cross the nuclear threshold. Conclusions This article advances a new analytical framework for examining nuclear proliferation outcomes utilizing a political psychology approach focusing on the perceptions of individual leaders. Through preliminary testing, the framework appears to provide new insights and understandings of how individual leaders perceptions may be critical factors in explaining proliferation outcomes. Specically, leaders perceptions of themselves and others in the international system, as captured by their perceived strategic context, provide useful insights as to the motivations behind their proliferation decisions. Building off of the logical partnering of willingness and opportunity this framework expressly recognizes that understanding proliferation requires insights not only as to states proliferation capabilities or the nature of the international system (i.e., opportunity), but also knowledge of the underlying motivations (i.e., willingness) of decision makers in deciding whether to

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proliferate (Ciof-Revilla & Starr, 1995; Most & Starr, 1989; Starr, 1978). The lack of understanding of leaders willingness may explain the contradictory and paradoxical predictions about proliferation. Mindful of the caveat that atomic bombs dont build themselves, this framework recognizes that nuclear proliferation is the outcome of explicit decisions by governments and leaders. By understanding leaders perceptions of their strategic environment a more complete and vivid picture develops regarding leaders motivations regarding proliferation. Examining the perceptions of leaders facing proliferation decisions accentuates the continuing need for the scholarship to equally address the opportunity and willingness driving proliferation outcomes. A balance must be struck recognizing that neither alone is wholly sufcient in explaining outcomes. Only through combining insights from both can the pieces of the proliferation puzzle be correctly put together. This linkage between capability (i.e., opportunity) and intent (i.e., willingness) is evident in the cases of South Africa and India. In each case the importance of individual leaders proliferation willingness is starkly revealed. In India, the differing intentions and nuclear ambitions of Gandhi and Vajpayee resulted in dramatically different courses being charted for Indias nuclear future. As demonstrated by the 1974 PNE, India clearly possessed the technical acumen to go forward with nuclear weapons development; nevertheless Gandhi proved to be at best a reluctant proliferator. She possessed a relatively cooperative view of the international system and in her perceived interactions with others. The development of such weapons did not t with her expressed world view and strategic interaction with others. The absence of a willingness to proliferate reected in Gandhis PSC further suggests the role and inuence of domestic political considerations. While proliferation occurred, it was largely stillborn. Instead of capitalizing on the resulting technical achievements and breakthroughs, the Indian nuclear weapons program would languish for over two decades under a policy of opaque and ambiguous proliferation. It was not until 1998, with the convergence between Indias proliferation opportunity and a leaders willingness to do so, that India would emphatically announce its membership in the nuclear weapons club. Vajpayees world view and strategic interactions presents an asymmetric PSC where concerns over others actions drive the situation to one of deadlock, feeding the continuation of conictual actions resulting in an incentive to proliferate. The case of South African proliferation presents another instance of the convergence between technical capabilities and a leaders nuclear ambitions. Vorsters drive to proliferate was not brought about by concerns about others, but rather resulted from his perception of self. Behaving true to his perception of self, he appeared driven by the need to acquire power resources and capabilities so to maintain maximum exibility of means for achieving his political goals. Meanwhile, De Klerks PSC offers the opposite scenario. Despite possessing the capability (indeed actually possessing a handful of nuclear devices), his preferences and perceptions points to nuclear weapons as ill-suited for the goals being pursued. The presence of nuclear weapons was an impediment for De Klerk, who saw the world in much more cooperative terms than his predecessors. The results also emphasize the importance of casting proliferation decisions in an interactive and strategic context. The expectations about proliferation outcomes can be revisited in Table 5 to include the actual results found for each of the six leaders examined. Overall, the incentive to proliferate and develop nuclear weapons was anticipated to be slight where a leader perceives the overall strategic interaction as cooperative as occurring between Type A and Type C leaders. These interactions produce mutual cooperation games where the players, through the use of cooperative tactics, are able to attain their best strategic outcome. This outcome is conrmed in the case of De Klerk as not only did no further proliferation occur, but he made the historical choice to roll back and terminate South Africas nuclear weapons program. However, in the case of Gandhi, her strategic interaction (Type C vs. Type A) was not expected to result in an occurrence of proliferation, yet such did occur. This divergence between the expected results, based on Gandhis perceived strategic

Leaders Perceptions and Nuclear Proliferation Table 5. Expectations for Proliferation Outcomes Given Leaders PSC Perception of Other Perception of Self Type A Idealist Set>Dead>Dom>Sub Type C Liberalist Set>Dom>Dead>Sub Type D Realist (Defensive) Dom>Set>Dead>Sub Type B Realist (Offensive) Dom>Dead>Set>Sub Type A Idealist Set>Dead>Dom>Sub No (never) No (De Klerk & Gandhi) No Type C Liberalist Set>Dom>Dead>Sub No Type D Realist (Defensive) Dom>Set>Dead>Sub Mixed outcome Type B

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Realist (Offensive) Dom>Dead>Set>Sub Yes

No

Mixed outcome (Vajpayee) Mixed outcome

Yes

No

Yes

Yes (Vorster)

Yes

Yes

Yes (always)

Set = Settle; Sub = Submit; Dom = Dominate; Dead = Deadlock.

interaction and the historical outcome, does not render the framework useless, but rather leads to further puzzles about why this proliferation incident occurred. Why wasnt Gandhi able to act upon her preferences? Was there something particular about the decision-making environment or structure operating at the time which inhibited her? The result necessitates a reevaluation of the other competing proliferation explanations. It is interesting to note that the lack of any signicant follow-up or development of Indian nuclear weapons capabilities directly after the 1974 PNE has led one researcher to reject this act as being an instance of proliferation (Hymans, 2006). Regardless, Gandhis PSC seems to weaken the claims that her decision was motivated by external threats while strengthening arguments citing domestic political factors. The case of South Africas Vorster offers support of one of the frameworks initially derived hypotheses. As expected, the inclusion of a more conict-oriented Type B leader into a strategic interaction resulted in a decision in favor of going nuclear. In the case of Vorster, his perception of self, as conict-oriented (Type B), was determinative. Notably, Vorster presented the only instance examined where a leaders perception of self was more conictual than that of other. This appears to merit further study to determine what percentages of world leaders possess such aggressive, conictoriented views of themselves and what might be done to alter such perceptions (Hymans, 2006; Malici, 2006). Another challenging case was Vajpayee of India. Vajpayees PSC revealed a subjective game between self as a Type C and other as a Type D. The result of this particular interaction emphasizes the strategic and interactive nature of international politics which is developed through the employed interaction framework. When the initial state is one of deadlock caused by mutual conict, the structure of Vajpayees perceived strategic interaction demanded that other be the rst to move from a strategy of conict to cooperation. Vajpayee had no incentive to move as his optimal strategy was one of conict to avoid the possibility of being dominated by other. The strategic initiative to break this deadlock rests with other to rst move to a cooperative strategy to elicit reciprocity from Vajpayee. However, Vajpayees PSC required other to accept an interim position of submission to Indian dominance. This act of being the rst to concede is premised upon others condence in Vajpayees willingness to reciprocate. Not surprisingly, this subjective perception appears incompatible with the historical context prior to the events of May 1998, all of which pointed towards continuing conict, eventually prompting Vajpayee to proliferate.

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Overall, the major contribution offered by this approach is the acknowledgment that the decision environment surrounding proliferation outcomes is a strategic one, where actions are taken not only based on ones own interests, but also on the expectations and in anticipation of others acting in their own interests. Specically, leaders perceptions of themselves and others in the international system when placed in a strategic context framework provide valuable insights. As the resulting interactions are developed a picture materializes where leaders PSCs work to either reinforce mutual cooperation or drive conict. Theoretically, the project contributes to the existing proliferation literature on the causes of proliferation in two ways. First, the project offers an important contribution to the study of proliferation by offering a systematic examination of how leaders beliefs may impact proliferation decisions. Second, it lls a void in previous studies which have examined the role of decision makers by developing an analytical framework that provides for generalizable ndings, permitting meaningful cross-case comparisons. On the whole, the project seeks to develop an avenue of proliferation research which the literature has only just begun to explore. Policy-wise, the project has sought to take up the challenge issued more than a decade ago urging scholars to provide practitioners with policy-relevant knowledge (George, 1993). Rather than offering a theory of proliferation which species assumptions that states can be regarded as rational unitary actors, this framework provides policy makers with an actor-specic model where the differing behavioral patterns of individual leaders can be examined providing the correct image of the opponent (George, 1993, pp. 9, 125). Possessing greater knowledge about the underlying motivations driving proliferation decisions may lead to more effective counterproliferation policies be it through security guarantees, economic assistance, or coercive means. The general pessimism offered by proliferation cascadology, whereby proliferation begets further proliferation, is far from certain. In parting, the critical observation to be taken away is that nuclear proliferation is not simply an inevitable occurrence driven by abstract and objective systemic factors, but rather that individual leaders perceptions can and do actively shape the international environment ultimately creating the strategic context for proliferation decisions. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author would like to thank Akan Malici, Harvey Starr, and Jacques Hymans for their comments on earlier versions of this article as well as the editors of Political Psychology and anonymous reviewers for their helpful critiques. All errors and omissions remain solely those of the author. Special thanks to the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies at the University of South Carolina for providing research funding through a Ceny Walker Graduate Research Fellowship. Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to K. P. OReilly, Political Science and Global Studies, Carroll University, MacAllister Hall, 100 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI, 53186. E-mail: koreilly@carrollu.edu REFERENCES
Abraham, I. (1998). The making of the Indian atomic bomb: Science, secrecy and the postcolonial state. New York: Zed Books. Albright, D. (2004). South Africa and the affordable bomb. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 4, 3747. Axelrod, R. (Ed.). (1976). Structure of decision: The cognitive map of political elites. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Betts, R. (1979). A diplomatic bomb for South Africa? International Security, 4, 91115. Brams, S. (1993). Theory of moves. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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