Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Nuclearization and stability in the Middle East

Elgoraish, Gamal Ahmed (1987) Nuclearization and stability in the Middle East. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86444) (KAR id:86444)


This study deals with nuclear development and policies in Israel and the Arab States and the associated risks of nuclear war. It is an attempt to analyse and explain nuclear proliferation in the Arab-Israeli conflict area in terms of a behavioural model and motivations to go nuclear. It traces the development of the international nuclear industry since the 1950s using the product life cycle theory as an explanatory and likely predictor of the spread of nuclear technology to the Middle East. It charts nuclear development and policies in Israel and the Arab states and explains the dominant motivations which might drive these countries to develop and deploy nuclear weapons. It draws a distinction between nuclear technology spread as a technological and economic process and nuclear weapons proliferation as a politico-military process. It connects and interrelates technological and political factors of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East since proliferation is the product of technology and politics. The nuclearization of the Arab-Israeli conflict area entailed several risks of nuclear war. The study attempts to ascertain and assess the likelihood of these risks based on past experience and a survey of expert opinion. It identifies three levels of risks originating inside and outside the Middle East. The first level deals with nuclear risks in the Middle East. The second level focuses on the likely responses of the Superpowers to nuclearization of the Middle East. The third level discusses the impact of a nuclear conflict in the Middle East on the Superpower strategic balance. The implications of this nuclearization on the Arab Israeli conflict are discussed in terms of the nature of the conflict, the logic of deterrence and the risks involved. The evidence points clearly to nuclear proliferation increasing instability in the Middle East but not necessarily to a nuclear catastrophe.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86444
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Middle East; nuclear policies
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 10:50 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 12:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.