Cover of Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments by Moeed Yusuf
Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments
U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia
Moeed Yusuf


May 2018
320 pages.

Cloth ISBN: 9781503604858



One of the gravest issues facing the global community today is the threat of nuclear war. As a growing number of nations gain nuclear capabilities, the odds of nuclear conflict increase. Yet nuclear deterrence strategies remain rooted in Cold War models that don't take into account regional conflict. Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments offers an innovative theory of brokered bargaining to better understand and solve regional crises. As the world has moved away from the binational relationships that defined Cold War conflict while nuclear weapons have continued to proliferate, new types of nuclear threats have arisen. Moeed Yusuf proposes a unique approach to deterrence that takes these changing factors into account.

Drawing on the history of conflict between India and Pakistan, Yusuf describes the potential for third-party intervention to avert nuclear war. This book lays out the ways regional powers behave and maneuver in response to the pressures of strong global powers. Moving beyond debates surrounding the widely accepted rational deterrence model, Yusuf offers an original perspective rooted in thoughtful analysis of recent regional nuclear conflicts. With depth and insight, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments urges the international community to rethink its approach to nuclear deterrence.

About the author

Moeed Yusuf is Associate Vice President of Asia Programs at the United States Institute of Peace.

"This outstanding book serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers that crises between regional nuclear actors pose to global peace. One of the world's foremost experts on U.S. policy towards South Asia, Moeed Yusuf has produced powerful original scholarship that emphasizes the critical role the United States has played, and must continue to play, in managing these crises. An absolute must read for policy makers."

—Stephen J. Hadley, former U.S. National Security Advisor

"Brokering Peace expands our understanding of a new, dangerous frontier in international security: the bargaining and decision-making of regional nuclear rivals, in crises that play out under the purview of powerful third parties. Moeed Yusuf illuminates these dynamics in surprising ways, weaving together insights from theories of nuclear strategy and diplomacy, third-party conflict management, and unipolarity. The study gives us much to think about as we consider how similar nuclear crises in South Asia, and other regional contexts, could unfold and—one hopes—be resolved short of war."

—Timothy Crawford, Boston College

"In this important new book, Moeed Yusuf shows that the nuclear crises of today are multiplayer games and that the role of the third-party mediator may in fact be the most important. A truly valuable theoretical and empirical contribution."

—Vipin Narang, MIT

"This brilliant book raises important questions about the nuclear futures of the world. With the US edging towards one side in South Asia, and trying to get the Chinese to play a new role in South and East Asia, will the concept of brokered bargaining be pushed to the breaking point? Will China (or a subordinate state) be persuaded that force is useful or necessary? The book forces one to think afresh about these issues."

—Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Brookings Institution