Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Research Student: Imran Iqbal

Interplay between Regional and International Security Dynamics: A Study of Nuclear Proliferation and Religious Radicalization in South Asia

Photo of Imran Iqbal

The South Asian region has been considered as the most dangerous place on earth. It has been feared a potential nuclear flashpoint and a hub of terrorism and religious extremism. The regional issues that present a serious threat to the international security range from nuclear proliferation, terrorism and growing religious radicalization. Most of the issues that affect the regional and international security environment are associated with India-Pakistan bilateral relations, the two key regional players. In this regard, scholars and practitioners alike in the field of international relations have sought to understand the pattern of India-Pakistan bilateral
relations: the sources of discord and of war and the conditions of cooperation and peace between the two opponents. The understanding of their hostile and complex bilateral relations has become even more urgent and necessary since the nuclearization and religious radicalization that has crept into South Asian security environment.

Over the years, the security policies of both rivals have become dangerously and closely linked with the regional and international security environment. This growing linkage raises important theoretical and empirical questions. What led to the nuclearization and radicalization of South Asia politics particular the security relationship between India and Pakistan? Are nuclear proliferation and religious radicalization a byproduct of the India-Pakistan bilateral security relations? Does the continuity of nuclear proliferation and religious extremism depend upon the perpetuation of India-Pakistan rivalry? Can resolution of long-running dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan bring an end to nuclear proliferation and religious extremism in the region that has come to threaten the international security as well? Is nuclear proliferation and religious extremism a product or byproduct of the India-Pakistan bilateral relations or a natural outcome of the regional and international security environment?

One of the arguments of the proposed research is that nuclear proliferation and religious radicalization cannot be overcome or eliminated simply by resolving long-running dispute between India and Pakistan. The nuclear proliferation and religious radicalization has to be taken in the greater regional and international security contexts in order to find a long term solution. If nuclear proliferation and religious extremism are the product of India-Pakistan bilateral security relations then India-Pakistan bilateral security relations are the product of regional and international security environments.

The proposed study uses both third image and regional security complex theory (RSCT), (Barry Buzan 2003). According to Barry Buzan in an anarchically structured international system of sufficient size and geographical complexity, RSCs will be an expected substructure, and one that has important mediating effects on how the global dynamics of great power polarity actually operates across the international system. The region refers to the level where states or others units link together sufficiently closely that their securities cannot be considered separate from each other. The regional level is where the extremes of national and global security interplay, and where most of the actions occur. The general picture is about the conjunction of two levels: the interplay of the global powers at the system level, and clusters of close security interdependence at the regional level.

Both the security of the separate units and the process of global power intervention can be grasped through understanding the regional security dynamics.

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