Neoclassical Realism and the Underdevelopment of China’s Nuclear Doctrine

  • Paolo Rosa

About this book


Paolo Rosa is Professor of Political Science at the School of International Studies of the University of Trento, Italy. He is an associate of the EU Non-proliferation Consortium. His main research interests include Foreign Policy Analysis, Italian Foreign and Military Behaviour, Chinese Politics, Strategic Culture, Quantitative Analysis of Conflicts, and Peace Research.

This book addresses the under-researched discourse of the evolution of Chinese nuclear posture, and in particular, explains the absence from this evolution of a coherent and well-defined operational doctrine. Using a neoclassical realist framework, the book explains why China, after having launched a crash programme in the mid-1950s to develop a nuclear deterrent, did not debate a clear operational doctrine with respect to targeting and employment until the mid-1980s.


China's nuclear doctrine political-military culture belief systems balance of power model organisational model strategic culture neoclassical realism neoclassical realist Mao no-first-use Cultural Revolution Lin Biao factionalism Vietnam War of 1979 Afghanistan Strategic Defence Initiative People's War People's War under modern conditions

Authors and affiliations

  • Paolo Rosa
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TrentoTrentoItaly

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