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Presentation Title

Towards a Model of Nuclear State Behavior

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Manfred Byrd '13Follow

Location

Young 126

Abstract

Structural realism attributes international outcomes to system level phenomenon—namely, anarchy and the distribution of power. Yet anarchy and power are not determinative of the behavior of nuclear weapons states. What most affects relations among the nuclear powers is instead found at the unit level of analysis. Domestic assessments of external threats, the utility of nuclear weapons, and even the importance of security respond slowly and weakly to external power shifts. This argument is demonstrated in the Cold War arms race, and it offers insight into the absence of post-Cold War proliferation in Europe, as well as North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-9-2013 11:20 AM

End Date

4-9-2013 11:40 AM

Panel

Panel: War, Peace and Virtue

Panel Moderator

Carolyn Golz

Field of Study for Presentation

Politics

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Apr 9th, 11:20 AM Apr 9th, 11:40 AM

Towards a Model of Nuclear State Behavior

Young 126

Structural realism attributes international outcomes to system level phenomenon—namely, anarchy and the distribution of power. Yet anarchy and power are not determinative of the behavior of nuclear weapons states. What most affects relations among the nuclear powers is instead found at the unit level of analysis. Domestic assessments of external threats, the utility of nuclear weapons, and even the importance of security respond slowly and weakly to external power shifts. This argument is demonstrated in the Cold War arms race, and it offers insight into the absence of post-Cold War proliferation in Europe, as well as North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs.