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Over 25 years after India and Pakistan tested their nuclear weapons, South Asia, its neighbours, onlooking policymakers, analysts and academics live with the consequences. Both countries are non-signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but they seek recognition legitimacy for their nuclear weapons programmes. Concurrently, both countries seek strategic stability on their terms. The asymmetries between them in those efforts run at the heart of a considerable body of academic and policy literature. What does one mean by 'strategic stability' and what are the causes of instability in the region? What, if any, should be the role of outside powers in thinking through and bearing on these issues?

This interactive, off-the-record roundtable will feature opening remarks by Ravi Shastri, Visiting Fellow for South Asia (Strategic Affairs) at International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Antoine Levesques, IISS Research Fellow for South and Central Asian Strategy, Defence and Diplomacy at the IISS will provide discussant comments.


Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri is a IISS Visiting Fellow for South Asia (Strategic Affairs) since March 2024. He has worked on nuclear and strategic issues for almost forty years. He began his career in India’s leading defence think tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in New Delhi in 1985. He continued to work on nuclear, missile, proliferation issues over the course of his 35-year long career in government-affiliated think tanks.


Antoine Levesques

Antoine Levesques is a IISS Research Fellow for South and Central Asian Strategy, Defence and Diplomacy. He specialises in the facts and assessments of South Asian policies towards regional nuclear issues. He contributes to IISS activities of research, assessment, as well as convening and outreach to officials and other audiences, through publications and discussions in and outside of the region. He was the lead co-author of the 2021 IISS report on ‘Nuclear deterrence and stability in South Asia: perceptions and realities’. His latest analysis on ‘India's Fraying Restraint’ is featured in the current issue of the IISS journal Survival.


Anit Mukherjee

Anit Mukherjee is a Senior Lecturer at the King's India Institute. He joined King's after ten years in Singapore where he was an Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is the the author of The Absent Dialogue: Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Military in India (NY: Oxford University Press, 2019), which examines the role of civil-military relations and military effectiveness and the the co-editor of India-China Maritime Competition: The Security Dilemma at Sea (Routledge, 2019) and India’s Naval Strategy and Asian Security (Routledge, 2015).

At this event

Anit Mukherjee

Senior Lecturer

Event details

NE 2.03
Bush House North East Wing
Bush House North East Wing, 30 Aldwych, WC2B 4BG