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Nonproliferation Norms

Why States Choose Nuclear Restraint

Maria Rost Rublee

Publication Year: 2009

Too often, our focus on the relative handful of countries with nuclear weapons keeps us from asking an important question: Why do so many more states not have such weapons? More important, what can we learn from these examples of nuclear restraint? Maria Rost Rublee argues that in addition to understanding a state's security environment, we must appreciate the social forces that influence how states conceptualize the value of nuclear weapons. Much of what Rublee says also applies to other weapons of mass destruction, as well as national security decision making in general.

The nuclear nonproliferation movement has created an international social environment that exerts a variety of normative pressures on how state elites and policymakers think about nuclear weapons. Within a social psychology framework, Rublee examines decision making about nuclear weapons in five case studies: Japan, Egypt, Libya, Sweden, and Germany.

In each case, Rublee considers the extent to which nuclear forbearance resulted from persuasion (genuine transformation of preferences), social conformity (the desire to maximize social benefits and/or minimize social costs, without a change in underlying preferences), or identification (the desire or habit of following the actions of an important other).

The book offers bold policy prescriptions based on a sharpened knowledge of the many ways we transmit and process nonproliferation norms. The social mechanisms that encourage nonproliferation-and the regime that created them-must be preserved and strengthened, Rublee argues, for without them states that have exercised nuclear restraint may rethink their choices.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Contents

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pp. ix-

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

This project began during my one-year tenure in the U.S. intelligence community, where I analyzed countries with nuclear weapons programs. We focused a great deal of time and effort on these states: what activities they were engaged in, and more important, how we could stop them. However, a few months into the job ...

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CHAPTER ONE. Exploring Nuclear Restraint

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pp. 1-33

The nuclear nonproliferation regime's list of high-profile and brazen failures is both long and discouraging. Consider that states that have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) flaunt their nuclear programs; witness the 1998 nuclear tit-for-tat between India and Pakistan; and NPT signatories ...

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CHAPTER TWO. Understanding the International Social Environment

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pp. 34-52

The international social environment influences elite decision-making regarding nuclear weapons acquisition, and chapter 1 outlines three major outcomes from that influence: persuasion, conformity, and identification.1 Questions remain, however: what comprises this international social environment, and how ...

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CHAPTER THREE. Japanese Nuclear Decision-Making

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pp. 53-98

Japan's continued non-nuclear status seems rather puzzling. With high levels of economic, scientific, and technological development, and a sophisticated nuclear energy program, including a plutonium-based fuel cycle, Japan certainly has the means to develop a nuclear weapons program. And bordered by nuclear-armed ...

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CHAPTER FOUR. Egyptian Nuclear Decision-Making

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pp. 99-149

Of all the countries that might have developed nuclear weapons but instead refrained, Egypt is the most curious case. All "typical" signs point to an Egyptian bomb. Egypt fought and lost four wars with a nuclear-armed neighbor, Israel. Although Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979, most describe it ...

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CHAPTER FIVE. Nuclear Decision-Making in Libya, Sweden, and Germany

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pp. 150-200

The cases of Japan and Egypt highlight critical lessons in the search for understanding how countries decide whether to pursue a nuclear weapons capability. State elites certainly consider security needs -- but how security is defined is much broader and more inclusive than might be predicted by traditional approaches. ...

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CHAPTER SIX. Reflections on Theory and Policy

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pp. 201-224

One of the great mysteries in international politics today is why so few states have developed nuclear weapons. Cases such as North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran only underscore the point: if a country has the political will, not even poverty or underdevelopment can keep it from building a nuclear weapons program. ...

Notes

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pp. 225-262

Bibliography

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pp. 263-284

Index

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pp. 285-297


E-ISBN-13: 9780820335896
E-ISBN-10: 0820335894
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820330037
Print-ISBN-10: 0820330035

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 5 tables
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Studies in Security and International Affairs