Why Nuclear Export Strategies Backfire
This chapter examines whether civilian nuclear assistance raises the likelihood that countries will begin nuclear weapons programs, particularly if they experience an international crisis after receiving aid. Using a theory of proliferation, it shows that nuclear cooperation can result in nuclear weapons pursuit in the absence of protracted security threats. The chapter analyzes two cases using qualitative analysis: nuclear decision making in South Africa and India. Statistical tests revealed a correlation between nuclear cooperation agreements and nuclear weapons program initiation, while security threats condition the relationship between peaceful nuclear cooperation and nuclear weapons pursuit becomes stronger as countries experience a greater number of militarized disputes with other states. There is no evidence that states without weapons programs engage in “nuclear hedging.”
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