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ECPR Virtual General Conference 2020

The Future of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Regime

Foreign Policy
International Relations
Political Psychology
State Power
Section Number
Section Chair
Philipp Aepler
The London School of Economics & Political Science
Section Co-Chair
Reint Jan Willem Groot Nuelend
Uppsala Universitet

The continuous erosion of the post-Cold War arrangements between NATO and Russia have produced a dangerous set-back to previous efforts made for nuclear non-proliferation in general, and nuclear disarmament in particular. Russia's termination of a bilateral treaty on plutonium disposal with the US in October 2016, and a series of North Korean nuclear tests throughout 2016 have accentuated the fragility of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Even though the US-Iran rapprochement and the resulting JCPOA have demonstrated that the regime's instability can be temporarily overcome through dedicated US-led enforcement, the vision of a nuclear free world appears to remain a distant dream.

The challenges to the regime are multifaceted and have lasted since its inception. The bargain of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 produced a two-class system among nuclear haves and no-haves. Yet, neither have the nuclear weapon states fulfilled the promise of permanent nuclear disarmament, nor was the civilian use of nuclear energy granted to all states equally. Further, regime enforcement relies on effective coordination within the Security Council, and enforcement on norm-driven self-constraint and concerted counteraction towards non-compliers. Resultingly, and unsurprisingly, the enforcement of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime has been porous ever since.

How can the current crisis and the lasting deficiencies of the nuclear non-proliferation regime be overcome? What are major, what overlooked obstacles to greater regime effectiveness? How can interdisciplinary, non-traditional, and unconventional approaches inform new policy initiatives? The Section invites scholars and students of all career stages, and particularly encourages submissions from across the social sciences including political science, international relations, regional studies, sociology, economics, philosophy, (international) law and geography, as well as related sub-disciplines. Further, we encourage submissions from other disciplines whose contributions, do not always find adequate consideration, such as, but not exclusively, psychology, cognitive and behavioural sciences, and decision sciences.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P300Prediction, Innovation and Regional Issues in Nuclear Non-Proliferation View Panel Details
P394The Future of Regime Enforcement in Nuclear Non-Proliferation View Panel Details
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