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Deproliferation Dynamics : : Why States Give Up Nuclear Weapons Programs


My dissertation focuses on the conditions under which states that have embarked on nuclear weapons programs choose to stop their exploration. Since 1945, nearly three times as many states have stopped nuclear weapons activity after an initial pursuit than have maintained their weapons programs. Adapting models from the crisis bargaining literature, this project formalizes the bargaining dynamic between prospective proliferators and the international community. States with lower values for acquiring nuclear weapons are more likely to accept rewards as are those states with higher values for nuclear weapons who believe the use of force is more likely against their program. Threats to use force or sanction states are more likely to be made against states with a higher value for acquiring weapons and, thus, are likely to be unsuccessful in persuading them against the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Using a new dataset on all nuclear weapons activity from 1945-2007, this dissertation tests these hypotheses regarding the proposed determinants of nuclear deproliferation using a spectrum of positive and negative inducements. This analysis suggests that political and military rewards are associated with a positive increase in the probability of nuclear reversal while, contrary to conventional wisdom, the use of economic sanctions and military force may reduce the likelihood that a state will deproliferate. This suggests a re-evaluation of traditional nonproliferation policy and a closer examination of tools that the international community can use to alter proliferation behavior

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