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This work is unique in its attempt to quantify whether nuclear weapons serve to lessen conflict escalation in the international system. It tests the hypothesis that nuclear weapons have had a pacifying effect on conflict between pairs of states through employment of two multiple regression models. The dependent variable of conflict escalation (operationalized in terms of level of conflict and number of fatalities) is tested against the presence of nuclear weapons (both symmetrically and asymmetrically) in the dyad and six other independent factors theoretically surmised to have had a significant impact on conflict: military parity, level of democratization, regime stability, trade, geographic proximity and alliance membership.
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Dr. James F. Pasley is Associate Professor of Political Science and Program Coordinator for Political Science at Park University in Parkville. Missouri. Dr. Pasley received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Review:
"This text is a fascinating analysis of the role nuclear weapons play in interstate dyads. While it correctly stops short of endorsing nuclear proliferation, it does show that the presence of nuclear weapons in interstate conflict dyads might not be as dark a prospect as one might believe." -Prof. Eugene R. Wittkopf Louisiana State University "... [an] interesting and solid study... This work adds to scholarship in the field of international relations by lending strong support to the theoretical work done by nuclear optimists..." -Prof. Nicholas C. Long Northwestern State University"
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