Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
After the use of the first nuclear weapons, during World War II, the world changed forever, as the balance of military power would no longer by measured by the amount of conventional weapons each state possesses. Alongside this, the world experienced a crude awakening to the catastrophic costs, for the environment and in terms of human misery, that the use of these armaments involved. In order to tackle the spreading of these weapons, with the aim to prevent further tragedies, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime (NNPR) begun to develop in the mid 1950s. Since then, the regime, together with its cornerstone, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), have produced outstanding achievements in the non-proliferation field, as well as being the source of glaring disappointments and tensions among states to the present day.
It is in this context that the following document uses regime theory, the framework that focuses on the study of why and how states decide to cooperate with each other, to present an analysis of the NNPR, understood as a series of overlapping, interlocking and mutually reinforcing agreements and mechanisms on the issue-area of nuclear activities among nations.
The study is driven by two research questions: 1) How can regime theory explain the longevity and broad acceptance of the NNPR/ NPT and what is its current state after the 2015 Review Conference?; 2) From the point of view of regime theory, in which way would an international effort towards demilitarisation be beneficial for the fulfilment of Art VI of the NPT, regarding nuclear disarmament? The research achieves the objective of deepening the comprehension around the success and broad acceptance of the NNPR and the NPT, while presenting a plausible alternative for an agreement on nuclear disarmament that could involve demilitarisation. This alternative is elaborated through a pathway suggested with the use of regime theory, specifically, with the use of the weak cognitivist approach.
2016. , 94 p.