Avoiding non-proliferation atrophy: the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation, regime dynamics and the case of nuclear non-proliferation

Fiorentini, Enrico (2018) Avoiding non-proliferation atrophy: the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation, regime dynamics and the case of nuclear non-proliferation. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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This project investigates the evolution multilateral nuclear non-proliferation arrangements to prevent state and non-state actors to access potentially destructive weapons and components thereof. While less scrutinized by political scientists and security experts, cooperative frameworks abound in practice. This begets questions as to the mechanisms and processes by which actors effectively cooperate in a crowded, complex and pluralist environment. Which factors determine the success and resilience of non-proliferation arrangements? How much explanatory power do cognitive beliefs and institutional practices command to understand and explain variance in governance effectiveness? While previous studies have focused on the ‘front-end’ of cooperation by examining factors leading states to cut deals, others have focused on the ‘back-end’ by focusing on the role of military and diplomatic means, such as alliances, coercion and the role of law. In addition, while scholarship on cooperation neglects sovereignty-conscious issues, non-proliferation studies disregard what happens between the ‘front- and the backend’ of the cooperation loop. This work analyzes three arrangements – the review process of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540 and the Nuclear Security Summits. Using case study analysis, elite interviews and participant observation, this study undertakes an investigation from a cognitivist perspective and examines the “principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures” governing non-proliferation. While factors related to knowledge and learning affect actors' understandings of risks and their mitigation pathways, their impact is intertwined with idiosyncratic factors, with crisis as overarching and crosscutting thread. Theoretically, compared to neorealism and neoliberal institutionalism, cognitive approaches to international regimes provide the most cogent explanations to account for governance effectiveness, but cannot wholly explain a case. Operatively, effective and resilient nuclear non-proliferation governance should provide for permanent interaction whereby novel implementation and monitoring mechanisms are experimented in a sovereignty-respecting way.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:International Studies
PhD Cycle:29
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/06 STORIA DELLE RELAZIONI INTERNAZIONALI
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