Master's Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik

Keywords

Episteric, Nuclear, proliferation

Abstract

How do epistemic communities facilitate nuclear proliferation? The nuclear nonproliferation regime contains numerous actors exerting varying levels of influence on policy outcomes and state behavior. Neoliberal institutional theory emphasizes the role of sub-national groups play in forming policy preferences; one under-researched group is epistemic communities. Existing literature tends to consider only the nonproliferation action of epistemic communities, however this study aims to examine how these communities can facilitate and lower the cost of undertaking nuclear weaponization, effectively encouraging proliferation. It is especially ironic that the literature has ignored the facilitation effect, given that America’s decision to investigate nuclear weapons began with a plea from the scientific community to investigate the destructive properties of nuclear material just prior to our entry into World War 2 and the nuclear age itself

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