The New Multilateralism and Nonproliferation: Bringing In Domestic Politics
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The New Multilateralism and Nonproliferation: Bringing In Domestic Politics


The so-called new world order compels new modes of thinking about the sources of behavior of countries suspected to harbor nuclear de­ signs. These "fence sitters" are undecided states reluctant to com­ mit themselves fully and effectively to the global nonproliferation regime (a full formal commitment, such as ratifying the nonproliferation treaty, is different from an effective commitment to such membership; in other words, Iraq is no Costa Rica). Such states can wait to make the ultimate declaratory political stand while sitting on various types of fences (some with basements), holding different levels of nuclear capabilities. Fence-sit­ ting, in other words, refers to effective international political postures, not military status. The term can thus accommodate an array of countries to which different ranges of capabilities, intentions, and formal commitments are often attributed, including India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Pakistan, and North Korea (Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa left this group recently and are discussed below; Ukraine and Kazakhstan are particular cases, as countries that inherited nuclear weapons from the Soviet empire).

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